Author(s): H. Rider Haggard
This faithful but unpretending record of a remarkable adventure is hereby respectfully dedicated by the narrator to all the big boys and little boys who read it. I offer apologies for my blunt way of writing. I can but say in excuse of it that I am more accustomed to handling a rifle than a pen. This is the strange history of our journey into the heart of Kukuanaland; a trek into the interior of the dark continent to find a lost friend and discover the diamond mines of King Solomon. In the course of a long life of close shaves, I never had such shaves as those which I have recently experienced. - Allan Quatermain, of Durban, Natal, Gentleman.
Allan Quatermain is a Victorian Indiana Jones - he triumphs over deserts, snowy mountains, tribal warfare and witches, and unearths the mythical treasure of King Solomon's mines.
"One of the great page-turners in English literature" -- John Sutherland Guardian "I can distinctly remember handling the book as if it might somehow give me, a boy in Africa, magical access to the African adventures it contained. It still does now. I need only pick up this book and, like the door to Solomon's treasure chamber, a mass of stone rises from the floor and vanishes into the rock above" -- Giles Foden Guardian
Henry Rider Haggard was born in Norfolk in 1856. His post of junior secretary to the Lieutenant-Governor of Natal, Sir Henry Bulwer meant that he travelled and he spent six years in South Africa . Haggard was bet by his brother that he could not write as good a novel as Stevenson's Treasure Island. The result of this bet was Haggard's 1885 book, King Solomon's Mines. It became a runaway bestseller so Haggard was able to leave London and concentrate on his writing. He published She in 1887. Andrew Lang thought She was 'one of the most astonishing romances I ever read. The more impossible it is, the better you do it, till it seems like a story from the literature of another planet'. Haggard died in 1925.