Being an Account of the Great Adventure of Bastin, Bickley and Arbuthnot. London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne: Cassell and Company, (1919). Original light brown cloth on semi-flexible boards, lettered in gilt and blind.
First Edition of "the most original story he [Haggard] had written for many years... his last important novel" [Higgins]. It is a tale in which three British chaps venture to a South Sea island where, they discover, the evil Oro is trying to alter the axis of the earth by affecting the "gyroscope" down in the bowels of the planet -- because he wants to destroy the half of humanity that cannot get along (the Great War). This tale is reminiscent of Jules Verne's 1889 axis-altering tale titled SANS DESSUS DESSOUS (or THE PURCHASE OF THE NORTH POLE in the UK, and TOPSY TURVY in the US). The volume includes much astronomy (including four charts of the stars), as Oro needs the proper alignment of the stars to carry out his plan.
This copy is in the primary binding (lettered in gilt on the spine and in blind on the front cover, with no decoration); there are also several secondary bindings. This is a close-to-fine copy (spine very slightly faded, but scarcely any wear or soil) -- rather remarkable condition for this cheaply-produced postwar book. Scott 72; Whatmore F47; Allen 64; Bleiler 737.
This copy is inscribed by Haggard on the half-title, as follows: "To Mrs Pitt | from | H. Rider Haggard | St. Leonards | March 1919". Though we have no proof, this was most likely Mrs Sarah Pitt, a writer of novels meant for children, or at least young adults, also published by Cassell; she had been quite popular during the years 1881-1900, which were also Haggard's best years. Item #14477