HAPPY BIRTHDAY – H. Rider Haggard, born 22 June 1856
“As I grow older, I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me.”
Sir Henry Rider Haggard was a novelist, adventurer, barrister and agricultural reformer. If you have never read King Solomon’s Mines, do give it a try. It is stirring, boys-own stuff. I recently listened to it on unabridged audio and was gripped all over again, especially when Gagool the witch tried to imprison the heroes in the cave.
I also enjoyed Allan Quartermain, but wasn’t so keen on She. Several films have been made of King Solomon’s Mines and they are all dreadful – the directors will insist on introducing a heroine and a romance into the script. The whole point of this story is that it is men adventuring in Africa and there are almost no female characters at all. The novel also has historical interest – you get lots of the English Victorian prejudices coming through! But it’s good stuff and well worth reading.
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