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H. Rider Haggard Works

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Signatures & Letters

An 1883 letter that HRH wrote to Cordy Jeaffreson

See the bottom of the webpage for DAWN for more information about this letter that is in my collection

A letter (not in my collection) from HRH to Mr. Barrett Smith about SHE, the serialization of which in THE GRAPHIC was nearly at an end, and which had been published in New York 5 days earlier, and which would be published in London in 3 days.

A letter from the John Anthony Miller Collection, from HRH to his brother, Alfred, discussing reviews of SHE

After Haggard finished writing 𝑲𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑺𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒎𝒐𝒏'𝒔 𝑴𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒔, 𝑨𝒍𝒍𝒂𝒏 𝑸𝒖𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒊𝒏, 𝑱𝒆𝒔𝒔, and 𝙎𝙝𝙚 (all between January 1885 and March 18, 1886), in January 1887 he "went to Egypt seeking knowledge and a holiday." He wanted to "write a romance on the subject of 'Cleopatra.' " (quoted from Volume 1 of his 𝑫𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝑴𝒚 𝑳𝒊𝒇𝒆). Below is the text of the letter, and below that are images of the actual letter.

(Address Shepheard's Hotel)CairoLuxor22 Feb 1887My dear Mr Loftie, I hope to get downto Suez in time to catchthe boat of the fourthin which case I trustthat I shall see you.Egypt impresses me beyondwords. What do you think ofthe enclosed cartouche ifit is a cartouche. It is ona magnificent signetring compounded apparentlyof gold & bronze whichcame off a mummy & whichI have bought. I wish that you wouldkindly tell me what itreads & what you think of it.Also of the second enclosedwhich has struck me much.It is really too dreadfullyhot to write. With much regards Sincerely yrs. H. Rider Haggard

The stationery of the letter above was provided by Cook's Nile Steamboat Service. Additionally, HRH wrote at the top of the stationery that he was staying at the Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo.

Shepheard's Hotel was the leading hotel in Cairo and one of the most celebrated hotels in the world from the middle of the 19th century until it was burned down in 1952 in the Cairo Fire. Five years after the original hotel was destroyed, a new one was built nearby and was named the Shepheard Hotel, but this hotel closed for renovations in 2014, and it doesn't appear the hotel is open again even though it has been 5 years.

I doubt Cook's Steamboat Service exists today.

Below: some photos of Shepeard's Hotel as it would have looked when HRH stayed there.

Below: A letter from HRH to Mrs Phoebe Anna Traquair dated December 14, 1887, regarding her possibly illustrating the at-the-time forthcoming 1888 edition of SHE.

This letter is in my collection, accompanying a copy of the "seventh edition" of SHE that HRH signed and presented to Mrs Traquair. HRH misspelled her surname as "Traquiar" swapping the "a" and the "i."

Dear Mrs Traquiar,Many thanks for sendingme the Blake which I shallread attentively. I don't thinkwhat you say nonsense atall, but these things areso difficult to put into words.Language was made todeal with things materialit fails when applied to thingsspiritual & there art stepsin. About the picture - I thinkyou have chosen a goodsubject, the light flowingupon that face & formof agonized loveliness oughtto make a very fine picture.Please if you will, sendme the original to see& not a photograph. Ishould be glad to meetas soon as possible &for this reason - The bookis now about to be illustrated& the lady who hasbeen asked to try Shehas sent some specimenheads. They are lovelybut a little weak, toolike Frank Miles. Conse-quently if Messrs Long-man liked your pictureI might be able to putsome work in your wayshould you care to have it,but of course this ispurely hypothetical, so Ihope you will not bedisappointed if I can't.It depends on them.But I should haveto get the picture beforevery long as of coursethey will have to givean answer to the otherlady. Believe me Sincerely yours H Rider Haggard

How would you like to be the recipient of the letter below?

Below: copies of the American first editions of MOON OF ISRAEL and WHEN THE WORLD SHOOK given to Ronald Ross