The Snake's Passis an eighteen chapter novel by Bram Stoker. This novel is a romantic adventure story about an Englishman on vacation in West Ireland that falls in love with a young woman whose father lost his land to a gombeen man (Irish money lender). It also involves a race to find lost treasure hidden in a mysterious shifting bog. In his book, Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, Stoker states that The Snake's Pass was first published as a serial in The People and several provincial papers [v2. p27-28]. To date, it has been found in three newspapers. It first appeared as an illustrated weekly serial in twenty issues of the Weekly Mail, Cardiff, Wales, with the first installment appearing on July 19, 1890 and the last on November 29, 1890. Then it appeared as a weekly serial in twenty issues of The People, London, England, with the first installment appearing on July 20, 1890 and the last on November 30, 1890. It also appeared as a weekly serial in fourteen issues of The Newcastle Courant, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with the first installment appearing on September 27, 1890 and the last on December 27, 1890.
Weekly Mail, Cardiff, Wales, July 19, 1890
Near the end of its run as a serial, The Snake's Pass was published in book form in the UK by Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, Ltd., London. According to a notice placed in "The Publishers Column" of the November 17, 1890 issue of The Daily News, London, it was scheduled for publication on November 18, 1890. The book itself is a 365 page hardcover with a red cloth cover stamped on the spine and front panel in gold. It was first published in the US by Harper & Brothers, New York, as a part of their Harper's Franklin Square Library New Series (No. 685). According to a notice placed in "New Publications" section of the November 22, 1890 issue of New-York Daily Tribune, New York, it was published that day. This edition is a 234 page (plus 2 pages of advertisements) paperback with a light blue-gray cover printed on the spine and front panel in dark blue.
Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington (publisher)
First edition book cover
Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, London, 1890
How it was written
Prior its serial publication, a short piece on The Snakes Pass appeared in the June 7, 1890 issue of The Liverpool Echo, Liverpool. According to this article, "The Snakes Pass, a West of Ireland romance, the publication of which is to be commenced in July, was written by him [Bram Stoker] in the West of Ireland, during a holiday from his duty, in which he has long been engaged, of attending to Mr. Henry Irving's business arrangements. For his study, Mr. Stoker chose a soft place on a rock, surrounded by the Atlantic, and there, under the blue sky, he dreamed his romance, and set it down in black and white."
After its publication in book form, two excerpts were taken from The Snake's Pass and published in the US.
"The Night at the Shifting Bog"
In January 1891, a part of "Chapter XVII - The Catastrophe" appeared under the title "The Night at the Shifting Bog" in Current Literature: A Magazine of Record and Review, Current Literature Publishing Co., New York.
"The Gombeen Man"
In 1904, parts of "Chapter II - The Lost Crown of Gold" and "Chapter III - The Gombeen Man" appeared under the title "The Gombeen Man" in the book Irish Literature Vol. VIII., John D. Morris & Company, Philadelphia.
The novel is available as a: "The Night at the Shifting Bog" is available as a: "The Gombeen Man" is available as a: The novel can be purchased online as a: Early publication notice
The Daily News, London, December 10, 1890