Click to return to the H. Rider Haggard homepage

H. Rider Haggard Works

Click portrait to return to the H. Rider Haggard homepage

1887 - She: A History of Adventure

HRH's second runaway success!

McKay, Scott and Whatmore all agree that the first appearance of SHE is as an illustrated serial novel in: THE GRAPHIC (London) from October 2, 1886 through January 8, 1887; Vol. 34 and 35, Nos. 879 to 893; and in HARPER'S WEEKLY (New York) from October 2, 1886 through January 1, 1887; Vol. XXX/XXXI, Nos 1554-1567. Each serialization is accompanied by excellent illustrations by E.K. Johnson, though HARPER'S WEEKLY only contains 9 of the 14 that are found in THE GRAPHIC.

The first authorized 1-volume book-form was published for sale in New York by Harper Brothers December 24, 1886. This Harper edition contains all 14 full-page illustrations by E. K. Johnson, as well as a double-frontispiece: two facing plates depicting the Sherd of Amenartas, drawn by Rider and his sister-in-law. McKay and Scott both agree on the American publication date.

The London first edition was published by Longmans, Green, and Company on January 1, 1887. The Longmans first edition purportedly comprised only 10,000 copies, each of which contains the same double-frontispiece as the New York first edition, but none of the E.K. Johnson illustrations. McKay, Scott and Whatmore all agree on the London publication date.

Longmans published its first illustrated edition, purportedly on November 1, 1888, which includes 32 illustrations by Maurice Greiffenhagen and Charles Kerr, 19 of which are full-page.

See the page dedicated to the illustrations found in various editions.

I do not own any of the books pictured below, unless noted.

My copies of THE GRAPHIC volumes that contain the serialization of SHE

There are 15 parts and 14 illustrations by E.K. Johnson

First part of the serialization in THE GRAPHIC

First part of the serialization in HARPER'S WEEKLY (New York), which is complete in 14 parts, but with only 9 of the E.K. Johnson illustrations

My copy of the first US edition

The Sherd of Amenartas: Double-frontispiece within both the first American and first British editions

First British edition

Copy owned by HRH's sister, Ella. This copy is now in my collection.

The copy owned by HRH's sister, Ella, is signed by HRH: "To Ella, from her affec[tionate] brother, H. Rider Haggard

My rebound copy of the first British edition

I also own another first edition in original navy-blue cloth

First British edition and title-page

Pall Mall Gazette review from January 22, 1887

Below: the title-page for the so-called Sixth Edition, which in reality was the 6th printing, or the Thirty-First to the Thirty-Fifth Thousand.

Below: My copy of the British 1887 Longmans seventh edition presented to Mrs Phoebe Anna Traquair

Accompanying the book is a letter from HRH to Mrs Traquair dated December 14, 1887, regarding her possibly illustrating the at-the-time forthcoming 1888 edition of SHE (see below). HRH misspelled Mrs Phoebe Anna Traquair's surname, Traquiar.

A dissertation prepared by Elizabeth Cumming references a painting Traquair created titled "She" and dated 1887.

My copy of the 1888 Longmans new edition with new illustrations by Charles Kerr and Maurice Greiffenhagen

HRH revised the text for the Longmans 1896 new edition

I did some searching on the Internet and found that Christie's sold 3 of the original Greiffenhagen artworks in December 1999.

£4830 equated to about $8000 in the year 1999, perhaps $11-$12000 in 2020

I also read a Twitter dated July 2018 that Charles Nugent owns the 3 original Greiffenhagen artworks pictured below. Compare the originals to the engravings found in the 1888 New Edition.

My rebound 1903 SIGNED copy that HRH gifted to John Hays Hammond, part of a set of 23 volumes

Various reprint editions