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1890 - The World's Desire

Co-written with Andrew Lang

McKay, Scott and Whatmore claim the first appearance was as a serialization in THE NEW REVIEW from April through December 1890, but without any illustrations.

McKay, Scott and Whatmore agree that Longmans, Green, and Co. published its first edition on November 5, 1890 in London, without illustrations. The first edition comprises 10,000 copies. Ads at the end of the first editions are date-coded 10/90 (October 1890).

Longmans failed miserably with its first edition by not including any illustrations. They made up for it in a great way when they added 27 fabulous Maurice Greiffenhagen illustrations and a new preface by HRH and Lang to the 1894 edition.

Harper & Brothers published in New York its first edition in 1890, without any illustrations.

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


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

Longmans first British edition

I am not usually a fan of Greiffenhagen's illustrations, mainly his depictions of the female face and form, but am impressed by his illustrations for this novel. Some of my favorites are below.

My copy of the Harpers first American edition

Title-page in my copy of the first American edition

My rebound 1898 SIGNED copy that HRH gifted to John Hays Hammond, part of a set of 23 volumes

Frontispiece of Helen by Greiffenhagen found in later impressions of the Longmans edition, and the title-page

Longmans Silver Library edition, with the Greiffenhagen illustrations

Hodder & Stoughton British reprint with original DJ

Newnes paperback reprint