Allan Quatermain [large Print Edition]: The Complete & Unabridged Classic Edition - heftet, Engelsk, 2014
With a large 7.44"x9.69" page size, this Summit Classic Press edition is printed on heavyweight 60# bright white paper with a fully laminated cover featuring an original full color design. Page headers and proper placement of footnotes exemplify the attention to detail given this volume.
King Solomon's Mines is also available from Summit Classic Press in a handsome large print companion edition (ISBN-13: 978-1495276194; ISBN-10: 1495276198).
This, the 1887 sequel, opens with "Hunter" Quatermain mourning the death of his only son, a medical student who died of smallpox while working in a hospital, and growing restive with the life of a wealthy English gentlemen. When his old companions, Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good, appear unexpectedly at his door and express their longing to return to Africa and the adventures of the wilderness, Quatermain reveals his own intention to journey to an unexplored region in search of a fabled lost tribe of white men isolated from the rest of Africa. Joined by the aging but still mighty Zulu warrior Umslopogaas, the company battles Masai warriors, finds and navigates an underground river, and discovers the land of Zu-Vendis hidden beyond a mountain range. The land is ruled by two sisters as queens, and the advent of Quatermain's party sets in motion a chain of events leading to conflict and ultimately civil war, in which Quatermain and his companions play a major role.
When King Solomon's Mines was originally published in 1885 it was so successful that it quickly became the best selling book of the year with the publisher working feverishly to print copies fast enough to meet demand. Ironically the book, which was written in less than four months and perhaps in as little as six weeks, had been rejected by numerous publishers who believed its novelty left it completely lacking commercial viability.
Indeed, the novel was both the first example of what became the popular "lost world" literary genre and the first English adventure novel set in Africa. The use of the first person subjective viewpoint and a narrative composed in familiar conversational style was also a radical departure from the ornate language and omniscient viewpoint of the books of the day, many of which were obsessively focused on social class in England.
Sir Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925) wrote "King Solomon's Mines" on a bet, a five shilling wager with his brother that he could write a story "half as good" as "Treasure Island." When young, Haggard had traveled extensively in Africa as a minor government staff official, and the Allan Quatermain character was based in large part on the colorful adventurers he encountered there. Returning to England, Haggard married and became a member of the bar, but soon took up writing full time.
Haggard's tales of African adventure were remarkable not only for their originality but for Haggard's attitude toward native Africans. Unusual for writers in the colonial era, Haggard held that many Africans were more noble and admirable than many of the Europeans who arrived in Africa, and his novels include complex and heroic native characters as well as evil and barbaric natives.
He penned several popular novels while traveling to various parts of the Empire in the cause of land reform and, like many Victorians, dabbled in spiritualism and the paranormal. Haggard's most enduring characters, Allan Quatermain and Ayesha, were brought together in She and Allan, Haggard's last major work.