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(HAGGARD, H. Rider). “Back to the Land” [published in] Addresses Delivered Before the Canadian Club of Ottawa 1903-1909. Edited by Gerald H. Brown, First Vice-President.
Ottawa: The Mortimer Press, 1910. With pencil annotations and corrections to Haggard’s speech (pp.81-86) in the author’s hand, and the last page of an ALs in ink from Haggard to an unknown recipient pasted onto the ffep. 8vo., orig. mustard cloth lettered in black, 227pp. Bookplate on rear pastedown, near fine in cloth custom clamshell case lettered in gilt with some wear and dampstaining along the bottom edges. Three annotations (“after some preliminary remarks” added at the outset; “as a Commissioner from the Government of Great Britain” clarifying “in my present position to-day”; “Loud and long continued applause” at closing) and 21 editorial markings or corrections in Haggard’s hand; these notations correspond with the changes found in the version published as an appendix to Haggard’s autobiography The Days of My Life. Haggard worked on the book between 1910-1912, however it was not published until 1926, one year after his death. The ALs, though incomplete, clearly refers to corrections of text for a book, likely referring to correcting this piece for Days of My Life. Additions and Corrections to the Haggard Bibliography p.25, McKay and Scott.

Prior to his career as an author, H. Rider Haggard served in various positions with Britain’s Colonial Office. In 1877, he was attached to the special mission to the Transvaal, led by Sir Theophilus Shepstone, which resulted in the annexation of the Transvaal to Great Britain. He was then appointed the Master and Registrar of the High Court at Pretoria until he returned to England in 1881, where he took up the practice of law, and then began to write adventure novels. In addition to his literary activities, Haggard was quite involved with the increasing migration of the population of rural England to the cities. His belief that ‘a healthy, contented, and prosperous rural population was the greatest asset that a country could possess’ caused him to become a life-long activist for that ‘back to the land’ movement. His work Rural England (1902) described his journey through twenty-seven countries examining the condition of agriculture and labourers. In January 1905, the Colonial Office appointed Haggard as Commissioner, to inspect and report on the Salvation Army agricultural and industrial establishments in the United States. The Salvation Army had been actively resettling displaced English workers in the United States, and through meetings with American government officials, Haggard sought to further and promote this scheme of National Land Settlement. In conjunction with his visit to the United States, Haggard also approached the Canadian government about the possibility of granting land for resettlement—corresponding with Clifford Sifton, Earl Grey and Sir Wilfrid Laurier (then Prime Minister). Both Laurier and Sifton were supportive of Haggard’s scheme and agreed to “set aside ten townships (240,000 acres)” for the purposes outlined by Haggard. Details of his proposal regarding resettlement in Canada appeared in his “Report On The Salvation Army Colonies in the United States and at Hadleigh England, With Scheme of National Land Resettlement”. As part of his journey to Canada, in April 1905, Haggard addressed both the Canadian Club of Toronto and the Canadian Club of Ottawa on subjects connected with Land Settlement—in Ottawa (Saturday, April 15), he was accompanied by Commander Booth Tucker of the Salvation Army. Haggard’s speech was reprinted in almost its entirety on Monday, April 17th, in the Ottawa Citizen. In the above speech, Haggard spoke passionately about the drift of agricultural workers from the land to the cities, and of the importance of maintaining a close association between the people and the land: “The strength of a people, gentlemen, is not to be found in their Wall Streets, it is to be found in the farms and fields and villages.”

Price: $5,500.00



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