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Sir Henry Rider Haggard ()
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Sir Henry Rider Haggard


(1856 1925).


Public servant, reformer, commissioner and wellknown storyteller, Rider

Haggard was the author of thirty-four adventure novels.


Rider Haggard was born at 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. Powerful, intense and visually magnificent, She was written in

Africa in six weeks in 1886. Rider Haggard published She in London in

1887. By then he was thirty-one year old, an established writer with his

own fixed and hard-won ways, who had written three first-rated novels:

King Solomons Mines, Allan Quatermain, and Jess. No other writer

has absorbed into his work as much knowledge and experience as Haggard

had. 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.


Travelling widely fueled Haggards imagination and helped him get

acquainted with exotic placed and people, their old languages, laws,

traditions, the deepest corners of their ancient history and antiquity.


The events described in the novel take place first at Cambridge, then in

Central Africa, and refer to the period of the beginning of the 19th

century. She takes a reader to the deepest interior of Africa,

searching not for treasure but for treasure but for the secrets of a

womans love. In Rider Haggards greatest romance a fathers mysterious

legacy to his son brings Leo Vincey and his two fellow-adventurers to

Africa. Travelling through crocodile infested rivers, across volcanic

plains and marshes they reach the vast, eerie catacombs of the Kingdom

of Kor, where they encounter She, the white Queen of the Amahagger

people. A woman of legendary beauty, bewitching and destructive, She has

waited two thousands years for the rebirth and return of the man she

loved. And this man, she believes, is Leo Vincey.


The story begins one rainy night, when a man of twenty-two Ludwig Horace

Holly was sitting in his room at Cambridge, grinding away at some

mathematical work. At last, wearied out, he flung his book down and

happened to catch sight of his countenance in the glass. As he stood and

stared at himself in the glass Horace Holly thought about his physical

deficiencies. Most men of twenty-two are endowed at any rate with some

share of the comeliness of youth, but to him even this was denied.

Short, thick-set, and deep chested almost to deformity, with long arms,

heavy features, deep-set gray eyes, a low brow half overgrown with black

hair he was strikingly ugly person. It seemed that he was branded by

Nature with iron strength and intellect. Ludwig Horace Holly was so ugly

that the spruce young men of his College, though they were proud enough

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