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King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard
MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,329991,754 (3.63)315
Allan Quatermain relates the events of his safari into the interior of South Africa in search of the legendary lost treasure mines of King Solomon.
Title:King Solomon's Mines
Authors:H. Rider Haggard
Other authors:Dennis Butts
Info:New York : Oxford University Press, 1989.
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:fiction, british, colonial, adventure, victorian, oxford classics, mooched

Work details

King Solomon's Mines by Henry Rider Haggard (1885)

  1. 70
    Hunter Quatermain's Story: The Uncollected Adventures of Allan Quartermain by H. Rider Haggard (MinaKelly)
  2. 70
    Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: King Solomon's Mines was written as a result of a wager between H. Rider Haggard and his brother on whether he could write a novel half as good as R. L. Stevenson's Treasure Island. Why not read them both and decide for yourself?
  3. 60
    The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle (Rynooo, Polenth)
  4. 30
    The Man Who Would Be King [short story] by Rudyard Kipling (mcenroeucsb)
  5. 30
    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: These novels have some similar plot elements.
  6. 20
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1 by Alan Moore (LKAYC)

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» See also 315 mentions

English (90)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Classic African adventure in the time of elephant hunting and tribal warfare. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
“Truly the universe is full of ghosts, not sheeted churchyard spectres, but the inextinguishable elements of individual life, which having once been, can never die, though they blend and change, and change again for ever.”

Oh, yikes. This book has certainly not aged well. The story is no saving grace either; I had to force myself through the last eighty pages of the book and felt such relief when it was finally over. For an adventure novel, it was quite dull and I get why it took me so long to find out about it in the first place. ( )
  autisticluke | Nov 14, 2019 |
Not a bad book. It is an adventure with the bwana-big-game-hunter-white-man's-burden types of Brits, shooting their way through Africa in search of a long-lost diamond mine said to have been originally mined by King Solomon from Old Testament fame. It was fun enough, but I got a bit tired of the racism, which I understand is a reflection of the times in which the book was written. It also seemed to me that the Brits weren't really all that bright in some ways, such as going on a 120-mile trek across the desert with only 5 pints of water each. WTF? Any marginally competent boy scout would know that won't work. I like a veneer of plausibility in my books. This was seriously lacking in some parts.
( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
A rip-roaring adventure of Victorian England Era Racism. Very quickly paced and enjoyable.

I had heard of the character Allan Quartermain, but I expected him to be a huge BAMF. I mean, he goes and is an elephant hunter for 40 years or so, yet describes himself as a meek and humble man, so I didn't really expect that to be the case. Then again, I guess they have to take it up a notch for a movie like The League of Extraordinary Gentleman.

So basically, they find this new sort of world in this fictional part of Africa, where the fabled King Solomon's Mines are said to be. Some of the humor comes from the fact that Allan Quartermain is a man of few books; according to him, he only read The Bible and The Ingoldsby Legends. So he misquotes a lot of people. Then again that doesn't really matter.

I really didn't expect the racism in this one, all of the Africans are described as grasping and conniving, though from the background information I found that Haggard was a huge imperialist and didn't like the movements to free them from colonial rule. So I assume he would have hated Gandhi, but it is hard to say. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
"Truly wealth, which men spend all their lives in acquiring, is a valueless thing at the last."

Allan Quatermain is an ageing hunter based in South Africa. One day he meets Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good, who want his help in searching for Curtis’s brother, who disappeared whilst searching for the legendary King Solomon’s Mines. By coincidence Quatermain has a sketchy map of the mines location and despite reservations about their likely survival agrees to lead an expedition to discover the fabled biblical King's source of wealth taking along with them a Zulu servant, Umbopa. After nearly dying crossing a desert they reach the border of Kukuanaland and the ancient road that leads to the mines only to find the country is ruled by a brutal despotic king and a witch who guard the treasure. Quatermain must use all his cunning if they are to survive.

This novel was written in the late nineteenth century and as such conforms with the norms and tastes of Victorian Britain and features imperialist, racist and sexist views that readers today would find offensive. Equally much of the writing style feels clichéd to modern readers but we must remember that this book was written at a time, before aeroplanes, television and the internet, when there were still large parts of the world which were unknown to the wider world. As such these clichés were not clichés when they were written. Rather this novel became part of the very popular, at the time, 'lost world' genre which later evolved into the 'sci-fi' genre. As such this becomes a forerunner of much that we read to day and therefore modern readers have to make a few allowances for it which is sometimes easier said than done. Today this book is seen as a 'children's classic' but would have been mainstream in it's heyday. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Mar 12, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (63 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haggard, Henry Riderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
BrugueraEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butts, DennisEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Casas, FloraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foden, GilesPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuller, AlexandraIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gemme, Francis R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, Roger LancelynIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hampson, RobertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hogarth, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holmberg, NilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ivry, BenjaminIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langford, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lopez, AbelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monsman, Gerald CorneliusEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nickless, WillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paget, WalterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pardo, ÁngelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pérez Rilo, RicardoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stephens, TobyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whitear, A.R.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This faithful but unpretending record
of a remarkable adventure
is hereby respectfully dedicated
by the narrator,
to all the big and little boys
who read it.
First words
It is a curious thing that at my age--fifty-five last birthday--I should find myself taking up a pen to try to write history.
Now that this book is printed, and about to be given to the world, a sense of its shortcomings both in style and contents, weighs very heavily upon me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the main work for King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard. It should not be combined with any adaptation, abridgement, omnibus containing other works, etc.
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One of the best-selling novels of the nineteenth century, King Solomon’s Mines has inspired dozens of adventure stories, including Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan books and the Indiana Jones movies. Vivid and enormously action-packed, H. Rider Haggard’s tale of danger and discovery continues to shock and thrill, as it has since it was first presented to the public and heralded as “the most amazing book ever written.”

The story begins when renowned safari hunter Allan Quartermain agrees to help Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good search for King Solomon’s legendary cache of diamonds. Eager to find out what is true, what is myth, and what is really buried in the darkness of the mines, the tireless adventurers delve into the Sahara’s treacherous Veil of Sand, where they stumble upon a mysterious lost tribe of African warriors. Finding themselves in deadly peril from that country’s cruel king and the evil sorceress who conspires behind his throne, the explorers escape, but what they seek could be the most savage trap of all—the forbidden, impenetrable, and spectacular King Solomon’s Mines.
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