H. Rider Haggard

by Rachel Baker on November 16, 2010

Sir Henry Rider Haggard, KBE (22 June 1856 – 14 May 1925) was an English writer of adventure novels set in exotic locations, predominantly Africa, and a founder of the Lost World literary genre. He was also involved in agricultural reform around the British Empire. His stories, situated at the lighter end of Victorian literature, continue to be popular and influential.

Writing
Haggard is most famous as the author of the novels King Solomon’s Mines and its sequel Allan Quatermain, and She and its sequel Ayesha, swashbuckling adventure novels set in the context of the Scramble for Africa (the action of Ayesha however happens in Tibet). The hugely popular King Solomon’s Mines is sometimes considered the first of the Lost World genre. She is generally considered to be one of the classics of imaginative literature  and with 83 million copies sold by 1965, it is one of the best-selling books of all time. He is also remembered for Nada the Lily (a tale of adventure among the Zulus) and the epic Viking romance, Eric Brighteyes.

While his novels portray many of the stereotypes associated with colonialism, they are unusual for the degree of sympathy with which the native populations are portrayed. Africans often play heroic roles in the novels, although the protagonists are typically, though not invariably, European. Notable examples are the heroic Zulu warrior Umslopagas and Ignosi, the rightful king of Kukuanaland, in King Solomon’s Mines. Having developed an intense mutual friendship with the three Englishmen who help him regain his throne, he accepts their advice and abolishes witch-hunts and arbitrary capital punishment. Three of Haggard’s novels were written in collaboration with his friend Andrew Lang who shared his interest in the spiritual realm and paranormal phenomena.

Haggard also wrote about agricultural and social reform, in part inspired by his experiences in Africa, but also based on what he saw in Europe. At the end of his life he was a staunch opponent of Bolshevism, a position he shared with his friend Rudyard Kipling. The two had bonded upon Kipling’s arrival at London in 1889 largely on the strength of their shared opinions, and the two remained lifelong friends.

Reputation and legacy
Haggard’s stories are still widely read today. Ayesha, the female protagonist of She, has been cited as a prototype by psychoanalysts as different as Sigmund Freud (in The Interpretation of Dreams) and Carl Jung. Her epithet “She Who Must Be Obeyed” is used by British author John Mortimer in his Rumpole of the Bailey series as the private name the lead character, a barrister with some skill in court, uses for his wife, Hilda, before whom he trembles at home. Haggard’s Lost World genre, influenced popular American writer Robert E. Howard, and other American pulp writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Talbot Mundy and Abraham Merritt. Allan Quatermain, the adventure hero of King Solomon’s Mines and its sequel Allan Quatermain, was a template for the American character Indiana Jones, featuring in the films Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Quatermain has gained recent popularity thanks to being a main character in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Haggard was praised in 1965 by Roger Lancelyn Green, one of the Oxford Inklings, as a writer of a consistently high level of “literary skill or sheer imaginative power” and a co-originator with Robert Louis Stevenson of the Age of the Story Tellers.

Chronology of works

* Cetywayo and his White Neighbours; Remarks on Recent Events in Zululand, Natal, and the Transvaal (1882); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Dawn (1884); online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Witch’s Head (1884); online version at Wikisource
* King Solomon’s Mines (1885); online version at Project Gutenberg ; Public domain Audiobook at LibriVox.org, and also at Audiobooksforfree.com
* Hunter Quatermain’s Story (1885); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Long Odds (1886); online version at Project Gutenberg
* She (1887); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Jess (1887); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Allan Quatermain (1887); online version at Project Gutenberg ; Public domain Audiobook at LibriVox.org
* A Tale of Three Lions (1887); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Mr. Meeson’s Will (1888); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Maiwa’s Revenge (1888); online version at Project Gutenberg
* My Fellow Laborer and the Wreck of the Copeland (1888)
* Colonel Quaritch, V.C. (1888); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Cleopatra (1889); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Allan’s Wife (1889); online version at Project Gutenberg ; Public domain Audiobook at LibriVox.org
* Beatrice (1890); online version at Project Gutenberg
* The World’s Desire (1890); co-written with Andrew Lang; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Eric Brighteyes (1891); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Nada the Lily (1892); online version) at Project Gutenberg
* Montezuma’s Daughter (1893); co-written with Andrew Lang; online version at Project Gutenberg
* The People of the Mist (1894); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Joan Haste (1895); online version at Project Gutenberg Australia
* Heart of the World (1895); online version at Project Gutenberg Australia; Public domain Audiobook at LibriVox.org
* Church and State (1895)
* The Wizard (1896); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Doctor Therne (1898); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Swallow (1898); online version at Project Gutenberg
* A Farmer’s Year (1899)
* The Last Boer War (1899)
* The Spring of Lion (1899)
* Elissa; the doom of Zimbabwe (1899); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Black Heart and White Heart; a Zulu idyll (1900); online version at Project Gutenberg
* The New South Africa (1900)
* A Winter Pilgrimage (1901); online version at Project Gutenberg Australia
* Lysbeth (1901); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Rural England (1902)
* Pearl Maiden (1903); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Stella Fregelius (1904); co-written with Andrew Lang; online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Brethren (1904); online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Poor and the Land (1905)
* Ayesha: The Return of She (1905); online version at Project Gutenberg ; Public domain Audiobook at LibriVox.org
* A Gardener’s Year (1905)
* Report of Salvation Army Colonies (1905)
* The Way of the Spirit (1906)
* Benita (1906); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Fair Margaret (1907); online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Ghost Kings (1908); online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Yellow God (1908); online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Lady of Blossholme (1909); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Queen Sheba’s Ring (1910); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Regeneration: An account of the social work of the Salvation Army (1910); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Morning Star(1910); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Red Eve (1911); online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Mahatma and the Hare (1911); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Rural Denmark (1911)
* Marie (1912); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Child of Storm (1913); online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Wanderer’s Necklace (1914); online version at Project Gutenberg
* A call to Arms (1914)
* Allan and The Holy Flower (1915); online version at Project Gutenberg
* After the War Settlement and Employment of Ex-Service Men (1916)
* The Ivory Child (1916); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Finished (1917) online version at Project Gutenberg
* Love Eternal (1918); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Moon of Israel (1918); online version at Project Gutenberg
* When the World Shook (1919); online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Ancient Allan (1920); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Smith and the Pharaohs (1920); online version at Project Gutenberg
* She and Allan (1921); online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Virgin of the Sun (1922); online version at Project Gutenberg
* Wisdom’s Daughter (1923); online version at Project Gutenberg Australia
* Heu-Heu (1924); online version at Project Gutenberg Australia
* Queen of the Dawn (1925); online version at Project Gutenberg Australia
* The Days of my Life: An autobiography of Sir H. Rider Haggard (1926); online version: volume 1 & volume 2 at Project Gutenberg Australia
* Treasure of the Lake (1926); online version at Project Gutenberg Australia
* Allan and the Ice Gods (1927); online version at Project Gutenberg Australia
* Mary of Marion Isle (1929); online version at Project Gutenberg Australia
* Belshazzar (1930); online version at Project Gutenberg Australia

Publication dates unknown

* Stories by English Authors (as contributor); online version at Project Gutenberg

Allan Quatermain series

* King Solomon’s Mines; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Allan Quatermain; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Allan’s Wife & Other Tales; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Maiwa’s Revenge: or, The War of the Little Hand; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Marie; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Child of Storm; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Allan and The Holy Flower; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Finished; online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Ivory Child; online version at Project Gutenberg
* The Ancient Allan; online version at Project Gutenberg
* She and Allan; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Heu-heu: or The Monster; online version at Project Gutenberg Australia
* The Treasure of the Lake; online version at Project Gutenberg Australia
* Allan and the Ice-gods; online version at Project Gutenberg Australia
* Magepa the Buck (included in the collection Smith and the Pharaohs); online version at Project Gutenberg
* A Tale of Three Lions; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Hunter Quatermain’s Story; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Long Odds; online version at Project Gutenberg

Ayesha series

* She; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Ayesha: The Return of She; online version at Project Gutenberg
* She and Allan; online version at Project Gutenberg
* Wisdom’s Daughter: The Life and Love Story of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed; online version at Project Gutenberg Australia

For Links to the online versions at Project Gutenberg, please see the link below.
Source: H. Rider Haggard. (2010, November 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:11, November 16, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=H._Rider_Haggard&oldid=394503248

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