"ME;" OR THE STORY OF THE WINDOW CURTAINS, A COMPANION TO "SHE," THE POPULAR NOVEL, WRITTEN BY H. RIDER HAGGARD... Fireside Series, N. 25. May, 1887. New York: J. S. Ogilvie & Company, 57 Rose St., New York; 79 Wabash Ave., Chicago, 1887. Octavo, original decorated red cloth, front panel stamped in black, green endpapers. First edition of the text with this title and (bogus) author attribution. Issued as Ogilvie's "Fireside Series," number 25, May, 1887, to capitalize on the success of Haggard, who had just published SHE. An example of bald-faced reverse plagiarism, this novel was written by the prolific and preachy American author Shay, and originally published by Ogilvie in 1880 as WINDOW CURTAINS, a didactic tale of a bank clerk ruined by lack of moral fiber and living beyond his means. He embezzles money and securities as he is drawn deeply into a ring of speculators investing in real estate. Ultimately the bank fails, his crimes are exposed, he flees to Canada, later emigrates to Texas with wife and daughter, who both perish as the result of a harsh frontier life. A tragic melodrama, not a parody of Haggard, nor a sequel. This book has nothing whatever to do with Haggard, aside from the fraudulent attribution of the book to him. Clothbound copies are extant with at least three binding variants. The front panel of this binding, probably the earliest, reads " 'ME' | BY | H. RIDER HAGGARD." Later bindings change the wording to match the more ambiguously worded title page. This one reads: "ME" / COMPANION TO "SHE." on the front cover. Haggard was aware of this fraud and on 25 September 1887 the New York Times published his letter repudiating authorship. Whatmore F4. Title page frayed around the edges, pulp paper text block tanned, a good copy of a very scarce, obscure book. (#171514).
No statement of printing.