The Witch's Head
, the second novel H. Rider Haggard published, is a romance about the dismembered head of an evil African witch doctor. After failing to find a periodical willing to serialize TWH
, Haggard agreed to publish with Hurst and Blackett under nearly identical terms as they offered for Haggard's first novel Dawn
(1884). Hurst and Blackett, London, published the first edition as an unillustrated triple-decker on 22 December 1884 in a printing of 500 copies. Haggard attributed pirated US copies of TWH
to its many favorable reviews (See Days
). Messrs. J. and R. Maxwell, London, published a one-volume edition of TWH
in May of 1887. This edition featured an illustrated frontispiece by H. French
. J. and R. Maxwell’s successors, Spencer Blackett and Hallam, London, issued another edition in 1887 which included a color frontispiece by E. Hume
. The 1893 Spencer Blackett and Hallam, London, edition features 16 illustrations by Charles Kerr
. Several “business complications” compelled Haggard to finally sell the copyright of TWH
to Longmans outright.
Haggard, H. Rider. The Days of My Life, An Autobiography. 2 Vols. London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1926. I: 218-219, I: 267-68. Print.
Pocock Tom. Rider Haggard and the Lost Empire. London: Weidenfeld and Nicoloson, 1993. 59. Print.
Whatmore, D.E.. H Rider Haggard: A Bibliography. Westport, CT: Meckler Publishing Co., 1987. F2, 3-5. Print.