The Great Allan Quatermain Read at Chrons -- Weird Adventures of Rider Haggard's Hunter Hero

Extollager

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This thread is for the discussion of the following 14 books by H. Rider Haggard:

King Solomon's Mines (1885)
Allan Quatermain (1887)
Maiwa's Revenge (1888)
Allan's Wife and Other Tales (1889) with the stories "Allan's Wife," "A Tale of Three Lions," "Hunter Quatermain's Story," "Long Odds"
Marie (1912)
Child of Storm (1913)
The Holy Flower (1915)
The Ivory Child (1916)
Finished (1917)
The Ancient Allan (1920)
She and Allan (1920)
Heu-heu (1924)
The Treasure of the Lake (1926)
Allan and the Ice-gods (1927)

There may be a couple of other short stories.

Because Allan's life intersects with those of Umslopogaas and Ayesha (She Who Must Be Obeyed), discussion of any of these books also is OK:

Nada the Lily (1892)

She: A History of Adventure (1887)
Ayesha: The Return of She (1905)
Wisdom's Daughter (1923)

This thread is not intended for the discussion of movies, fiction by authors other than Rider Haggard, etc.

Interested readers may decide whether this thread should follow a schedule, and whether readers should be asked to discuss the books in order, or whether this thread is just a catch-all, such that if someone has just read, say, The Ivory Child, he or she should feel free to jump right in and start writing about it.

Bayeté!
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Bick

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Great stuff, Extollager. And I like the image.

And for those who may not be aware, this came from Extollager's proposition in another thread to read through the Quatermain books in publication order, as a Chrons reading event, over the next year or two. It's a juicy reading 'challenge' and I'm in.

I'm currently reading Allan Quatermain (I read King Solomon's Mines a year or two ago). I'll also probably post here when I get hold of old Quatermain and related books from used stores and eBay, etc.

After Allan Quatermain, I'll probably divert to read the associated novel She, before getting back to Quatermain novels per se, with Maiwa's Revenge.

What have you already read, Extollager, are you going back to re-read any, and where are you planning to pitch in with your reading quest here?
 
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Extollager

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Bick, I read a lot of Haggard more than 15 years ago, partly for the pleasure of it and partly because I was snuffling around like a Black Rider for things that might have left traces in Tolkien's fantasy. I found a little bit here and there, which I might mention here in future postings, in connection with the short story or novel under discussion at the time. Hint: I found some surprising possible influences in the late tales Heu-Heu and The Treasure of the Lake. I wrote about these and other Haggardy things in my entry on 19th- and 20th-century literary influences on Tolkien in the J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia (2006), if anyone can't wait. : )

Of the Allan books, I think King Solomon's Mines and the "Zulu Trilogy" of Marie, Child of Storm, and Finished are perhaps particularly well regarded.

I've read the ones marked with an X at least once:

XKing Solomon's Mines (1885)
XAllan Quatermain (1887)
XMaiwa's Revenge (1888)
XAllan's Wife and Other Tales (1889) with the stories "Allan's Wife," "A Tale of Three Lions," "Hunter Quatermain's Story," "Long Odds"
XMarie (1912)
XChild of Storm (1913)
XThe Holy Flower (1915)
XThe Ivory Child (1916)
XFinished (1917)
The Ancient Allan (1920)
XShe and Allan (1920)
XHeu-heu (1924)
XThe Treasure of the Lake (1926)
Allan and the Ice-gods (1927)

There may be a couple of other short stories.

Because Allan's life intersects with those of Umslopogaas and Ayesha (She Who Must Be Obeyed), discussion of any of these books also is OK:

XNada the Lily (1892)

XShe: A History of Adventure (1887)
XAyesha: The Return of She (1905)
Wisdom's Daughter (1923)

I think I might just reread King Solomon's Mines first. I will say that, in my opinion, She excels all the rest. It's an authentic fantasy classic.

The previous picture and this one are from the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa. The picture below reminds me of the art by Tolkien for The Hobbit that was used for the dustcover of the American hardcover first edition of The Silmarillion.
1665968080546.png

1665968146599.png
 

Extollager

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This is a better version of the Tolkien drawing, to accompany the photo in the previous posting:
1665971933364.png

One of the Quatermain novels has a begin storm early, in the Drakensberg Mountains. I've thought it might have influenced JRRT.

Weather in the Drakensberg:
1665972071115.png
 

Extollager

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A question for anyone interested in this thread -- what about "spoilers"?

My take on the matter would be that the AQ books are all written by Quatermain himself, so we know he survives the adventures; and I don't think Haggard generally aims to surprise the reader but rather to fulfill the anticipation of a good story that he so nicely evokes in each book's opening pages -- so discussion should go ahead and not worry about avoiding or flagging spoilers. On the other hand, my guess is that, aside from King Solomon's Mines, Allan Quatermain maybe, and She, these books will be new to most people here. One could also argue that spoilers should be avoided for She, which could be said to have a (terrific) surprise ending.

Thoughts?

Also, I should mention that Wildside reprinted a lot of these books if I'm not mistaken.


I'm not sure about the editions of other publishers who have rushed in to reprint public domain Haggard titles, but with at least some of its editions Wildside did proofread -- I know someone who read proof for them of at least one or two Verne books.
 

Danny McG

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Jumping in with both feet.
I don't think I've ever read any of these books, the only one that sounds familiar is King Solomon's mines (I think because it was my first cinema experience as a kid!)

I've downloaded it now and I'll give it a go when I finish my current book, so basically it's my intro to Haggard - we shall see :)
 

Extollager

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Danny just gave us a personal word about Haggard. I've got one too. I've just started a rereading of KSM -- my 5th or 6th reading. First, though, I went to the post office and mailed away my copy of James Joyce's Ulysses. I've had a copy for many years but never read it and figured I never would.

I'm reading a Modern Library book that includes KSM and She. I bought it 24 Nov. 1976 at Blue Goose Books in Ashland, Oregon. I already had paperback copies of both novels, but it was unthinkable to pass up a hardcover edition at $1.50.

That'll tell you something about my reading tastes.

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I didn't keep the paperbacks after I got the Modern Library edition, but I still remember what they looked like.
 
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Danny McG

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I've started KSM now, the intro (from the viewpoint of Quatermain) where he recounts his adventurous life before he "made his pile" is very reminiscent of Richard Hannay introducing his yarn in the 39 steps.

Now I'm agog to see how this tale unfolds
 

Bick

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I've started KSM now, the intro (from the viewpoint of Quatermain) where he recounts his adventurous life before he "made his pile" is very reminiscent of Richard Hannay introducing his yarn in the 39 steps.
I imagine Haggard was a big influence on Buchan. Hope you enjoy it, I did.
 

Extollager

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I've started KSM now, the intro (from the viewpoint of Quatermain) where he recounts his adventurous life before he "made his pile" is very reminiscent of Richard Hannay introducing his yarn in the 39 steps.

Now I'm agog to see how this tale unfolds
I love the way writers from this period so often get you settled in for the story with an account of the narrator's experience of meeting someone else by chance, and they get talking, and gradually the main story unfolds. Even Tolstoy does that. Opening of "The Kreutzer Sonata":

It was early spring, and the second day of our journey. Passengers going short distances entered and left our carriage, but three others, like myself, had come all the way with the train. One was a lady, plain and no longer young, who smoked, had a harassed look, and wore a mannish coat and cap; another was an acquaintance of hers, a talkative man of about forty, whose things looked neat and new; the third was a rather short man who kept himself apart.

He was not old, but his curly hair had gone prematurely grey. His movements were abrupt and his unusually glittering eyes moved rapidly from one object to another. He wore an old overcoat, evidently from a first-rate tailor, with an astrakhan collar, and a tall astrakhan cap. When he unbuttoned his overcoat a sleeveless Russian coat and embroidered shirt showed beneath it. A peculiarity of this man was a strange sound he emitted, something like a clearing of his throat, or a laugh begun and sharply broken off.

All the way this man had carefully avoided making acquaintance of making any intercourse with his fellow passengers. When spoken to by those near him he gave short and abrupt answers, and at other times read, looked out of the window, smoked, or drank tea and ate something he took out of an old bag. It seemed to me that his loneliness depressed him, and I made several attempts to converse with him, but whenever our eyes met, which happened often as he sat nearly opposite me, he turned away and took up his book or looked out of the window.

Towards the second evening, when our train stopped at a large station, this nervous man fetched himself some boiling water and made tea. The man with the neat new things -- a lawyer as I found out later -- and his neighbor, the smoking lady with the mannish coat, went to the refreshment-room to drink tea.

During their absence several new passengers entered the carriage, among them a tall, shaven, wrinkled old man, evidently a tradesman, in a coat lined with skunk fur, and a cloth cap with an enormous peak. The tradesman sat down opposite the seats of the lady and the lawyer, and immediately started a conversation with a young man who had also entered at that station and, judging by his appearance, was a tradesman's clerk. I was sitting the other side of the gangway and as the train was standing still I could hear snatches of their conversation when nobody was passing between us.


....."Well then, I'll tell you. but do you really want to hear it?" I repeated that I wished it very much. He paused, rubbed his face with his hands, and began: "If I am to tell it, I must tell everything from the beginning"....


The story that follows is about a domestic tragedy, we shall say. But it could have been about a strange experience somewhere -- in the city, in the country.... Of course, Allan's going to tell us his own story. But there's still that effect of getting to know the narrator and his companion(s) or interlocutor.
 

Extollager

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By the way, when Allan sets out his terms with Sir Henry and Captain Good, I was reminded a little of the bit early in The Hobbit with Bilbo and the Dwarves discussing terms. I don't say Tolkien was riffing on Haggard, but I wonder if the Haggard passage or something like it elsewhere was on the Professor's mind.

Before that incident in Tolkien's book, the Dwarves and Gandalf had to arrive -- here's a vintage poster of the scene:
1666054496003.png

Not terribly relevant, but I thought some folks might like to see it. This dates to the 1970s.
 

BAYLOR

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Danny just gave us a personal word about Haggard. I've got one too. I've just started a rereading of KSM -- my 5th or 6th reading. First, though, I went to the post office and mailed away my copy of James Joyce's Ulysses. I've had a copy for many years but never read it and figured I never would.

I'm reading a Modern Library book that includes KSM and She. I bought it 24 Nov. 1976 at Blue Goose Books in Ashland, Oregon. I already had paperback copies of both novels, but it was unthinkable to pass up a hardcover edition at $1.50.

That'll tell you something about my reading tastes.

View attachment 94193View attachment 94195View attachment 94194
I didn't keep the paperbacks after I got the Modern Library edition, but I still remember what they looked like.

Both Great books .:)

.
 

Orcadian

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Interested to know how people pronounce 'Umslopogaas' - one of my favourite characters. I read a lot of Haggard as a teenager, as my Dad had quite a collection, from his boyhood. He and I always said 'umm-sloppa-gas. But Librivox readers (probably mostly American?) tend to say 'umm-sluh-po-gas. Opinions?
 

Extollager

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I hear Umslopogaas as oom SLOW POE goss -- slow and poe both emphasized but slow a bit more than poe.

And Ustane in She I hear as oo STAH nee.
 
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Hugh

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Well, I'd been planning to read "She and Allan" in the very near future, but galvanised by this thread I went to the shelf and it's not there. Cue gnashing of teeth. It's an old hardback copy I'd picked up recently. Whether I'll find it again is another matter.

For me, Umslopogaas has always been:
oom... slopp... o... garse

Despite the risk of trivialising this thread, I'll post one of my 75 word entries here. While it sank without trace in the voting and discussion, it gave me great pleasure and still makes me chortle.
The genre was Steampunk and the theme "Return to Earth"

Home

The great ship eased down onto the fields of Windsor Castle, pistons screeching, clouds billowing. At its prow stood the greatest warriors of two worlds, legendary Umslopogaas and the awesome Thark, Tars Tarkas, proudly bearing tidings that the Pax Britannica had been extended to the Martian Colonies.

Quartermain and I could barely restrain a tear as the band struck up and blessed Queen Gagool and her consort, loyal John Brown, came out to meet us.
 
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Orcadian

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Well, I'd been planning to read "She and Allan" in the very near future, but galvanised by this thread I went to the shelf and it's not there. Cue gnashing of teeth. It's an old hardback copy I'd picked up recently. Whether I'll find it again is another matter.

For me, Umslopogaas has always been:
oom... slopp... o... garse
Sounds very like my and my dad's pronunciation. :)

If you can go with an audiobook, She and Allan (unabridged) is there on Librivox.
 

Extollager

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Hugh, I hope that copy shows up. But did you know that it features the Hottentot character Zikali -- who figures prominently in the Zulu trilogy of Marie, Child of Storm, and Finished, published earlier? Zikali is, as I recall from reading the trilogy and She and Allan quite a few years ago, an entertaining character with considerable depth to him... conceived in part in a kind of Mark Twainish way, as an amusing rascal with a rather imperfect grasp of morality and Christian doctrine and a fondness for squareface (gin). Haggard depicts him as engaging in occult practices strictly forbidden by the Bible, that's for sure.

I just decided: I'm going to put King Solomon's Mines aside, rattling good read as it is, and immediately start a reread of the Zulu Trilogy, which I have only read once. See photo in next posting.
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Extollager

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My copies of the Zulu Trilogy are just prints made from online texts. That's Tess there, ignoring these humble "books."
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