King Solomon's Mines
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King Solomon's Mines (1885) is a popular novel by the Victorian adventure writer and fabulist Sir H. Rider Haggard. It tells of a search of an unexplored region of Africa by a group of adventurers led by Allan Quatermain for the missing brother of one of the party. It is the first English adventure novel set in Africa, and is considered to be the genesis of the Lost World literary genre.
The book has scholarly value for the colonialist attitudes Haggard expresses, and for the way he portrays the relationships among the white and African characters. While Haggard does indeed portray some Africans (such as Twala and Gagool) in their traditional (for Victorian literature) literary posts as barbarians, he also presents the other side of the coin, showing some black Africans as heroes and heroines (such as Ignosi), and shows respect for their culture. Although the book is certainly not devoid of racism, it expresses much less prejudice than some of the later books in this genre.
The book has inspired a number of films, including one in 1937 with Paul Robeson.
- Revenant, December 2012
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