Author(s): H. Rider Haggard
This title comes with an introduction by Margaret Atwood. A note from The Editor: I feel it incumbent upon me to explain how this wonderful and mysterious history found its way into my hands. I received a letter and two parcels- one a manuscript, the other containing a scarab and an ancient sherd - from a brief acquaintance of mine called Mr Horace Holly. Mr Holly and his ward Leo Vincey had passed through a most uncommon African adventure, a tale of a nature so marvellous that I fear the reader might disbelieve it. To me the story seems to bear the stamp of truth upon its face. But I must leave the reader to form his own judgment...And with this explanation I introduce the world to Ayesha - She-who-must-be-obeyed - and the Caves of Kor.
The Victorian equivalent of a blockbuster. This is a thrilling tale of a female that is decidedly more deadly than the male.
"Exciting...remarkable imaginative power" Spectator "Few books bolder in conception, more vigorous in treatment, or fresher in fancy, have appeared for a long time" The Public Opinion "The more impossible it gets the better Mr. Haggard does it...his astonishing imagination, and a certain vraisemblance makes the most impossible adventures appear true" The Academy "My father used to read me lots of fabulous, old fashioned adventure stories but I've been haunted by King Solomon's Mines by H Rider Haggard. It's a fantastically bloodthirsty novel, of course, but the bit that stayed with this eight year-old girl when the lights went out was the part where they go into the mines and see all the skeletons of the people who had been there before them. It wasn't the physical remains that bothered me, but the worry about what had happened to their spirits. Were their souls trapped down there? Only now do I realise how much Haggard has influenced my own writing about ghosts and underground caves." -- Kate Mosse Daily Telegraph
Henry Rider Haggard was born in Norfolk in 1856. His post of junior secretary to the Lieutenant-Governor of Natal, Sir Henry Bulwer meant that he travelled and he spent six years in South Africa . Haggard was bet by his brother that he could not write as good a novel as Stevenson's Treasure Island. The result of this bet was Haggard's 1885 book, King Solomon's Mines. It became a runaway bestseller so Haggard was able to leave London and concentrate on his writing. He published She in 1887. Andrew Lang thought She was 'one of the most astonishing romances I ever read. The more impossible it is, the better you do it, till it seems like a story from the literature of another planet'. Haggard died in 1925.