Dawn (1884) is the debut novel of H Rider Haggard. He knows how to interest the reader from the very first pages. Dawn is a good confirmation of this. It all starts with the fact that the young man has deceived his inheritance with his lying cousin and secret marriage. The author shows on his characters that readers should not imitate others and follow their example.
Philip Caresfoot is all but promised to marry the local heiress, Maria Lee. They are both to inherit small fortunes in their own right. And thus their marriages to each other would make an even wealthier household. However, when Hilda, a noblewoman with no wealth of her own, arrives in town to become Maria’s companion, Philip begins to fall in love with her. They have an affair when Philip is sent away to Oxford and they marry in secret. When Philip returns to his home, his father inquires about his relationship with Maria Lee. Philip tells him that Maria Lee and himself are engaged. How will he keep all his lies together and still inherit the land and money from his father? For it is sure that the father will disinherit his son once he discovers the truth of the matter.
The novel was filmed in 1917.