'Don't you see that we are buried alive?'
When Allan Quatermain is approached by Sir Henry Curtis and his friend Captain Good to search for Sir Henry's missing brother, deep in the African interior, he agrees to lead their expedition. Quatermain has a map to the fabled King Solomon's Mines, whose treasure the missing man sought to attain. Their journey takes them to Kukuanaland, where they find a warrior tribe in thrall to King Twala. Soon the white men are embroiled in a desperate tribal battle, and Quatermain's expedition can only reach its goal with the aid of Gagool, the ancient 'mother' no one trusts.
Haggard's exciting adventure story captivated readers when it was first published in 1885. It helped inaugurate a wave of 'lost world' romances inspired by the exploits of British explorers in colonial Africa. This new edition looks at Haggard's own African experiences and unlikely literary success, and his ambivalent attitude to the native tribes and the ravages of the British Empire.
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My grandfather used to tell me about King Solomon's Mines; how he repeatedly gave up on the book before he was
eventually won over by this tale of Allan Quatermain, a hunter who leads an expedition in search of a vanished English explorer in the African jungle ... And my grandfather was right: the narrative has all the unstoppable momentum of a charging rhinoceros. * David Evans, Independent on Sunday *