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King Solomon’s Mines


H.-Rider Haggard


king solomon's mines




Biographical facts


Sir Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925). Public servant, reformer,

commissioner, agriculturist and well-known story teller, Rider Haggard

was the author of thirty-four adventure novels of which King Solomon's

Mines, She and Allan Quatermain are now best remembered.


Henry Rider Haggard was born in Bradenham in Norfolk in 1856. He was the

sixth son of a lawyer and was educated in Ipswich. In 1875 his father

procured for him the post of junior secretary to the Governor of Natal,

Sir Henry Bulwer. He set sail for South Africa and spent six years

there, fascinated by its landscape, wildlife, tribal society and

mysterious past. He returned to England in 1880 and was called to the

Bar to Lincoln's Inn four years later. His first and perhaps most

celebrated novel, King Solomon's Mines, is set in Africa and was

published soon after he had qualified in 1885. It was so successful that

Haggard was able to move back to Norfolk, where he could concentrate on

his writing. He produced a whole series of spellbinding and extravagant

romances set in far-flung corners of the world: Iceland, Constantinople,

Mexico, Ancient Egypt and, of course, Africa. Both She and Allan

Quatermain were published in 1887, and by 1890, at the age of

thirty-four, Haggard had become both mi enormously successful writer and

a household name. He used his position well and did much to further

causes, iccepting an honorary post and giving countless after-iinner

speeches. He was great friends with fellow writer Rudyard Kipling and

with the anthropologist and scholar Andrew Lang, to whom She is



A private man, Haggard was deeply shattered by the ieath of his son in

1891, and for many months afterwards vas rarely to be seen outside his

Norfolk home. After an msuccessful stand for Parliament in 1894 Haggard

threw limself into his campaigning and writing once more. One ubject

that he wrote about extensively was the state of .


British agriculture and his A Farmer's Year (1898) and Rural England

(1902) made a substantial contribution to alleviating the plight of the

farmer and small-holder of the time. Throughout his life Haggard

continued to travel widely, visiting exotic places that helped fuel his

imagination for new stories. He was knighted in 1912 and died in 1925.


Written in the same period as She, Allan Quatermain and Jess, King

Solomon's Mines is one of Haggard's most exciting adventure stories. Its

African setting is vividly described and shows his love for fascination

with that continent.


I’d like to tell you some words about his best novel which I’ve read

King Solomon’s Mines. It was written on a bet H. Rider claimed, and his

brother doubted, that he could write a better and, more successful

adventure story than Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”. Hence

King Solomon’s Mines was written, published, and became a phenomenon in

1885. Born into the large family of a country gentleman, Haggard was a

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