King Solomon’s Mines.

H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines; inscribed by him to his sister Ella Green

King Solomon’s Mines.

HAGGARD, H. Rider.


Item Number: 118637

London: Cassel & Company, 1885.

First edition, third issue of Haggard’s immensely popular Victorian adventure novel the first great “Lost World” action-adventure, a precursor to Indiana Jones. Octavo, original cloth, folding facsimile of the map of the route to King Solomon’s mines. Association copy, signed by the author opposite the half-title page with an additional note inscribed to his sister, Ella Green, pasted to the same page, “your loving brother H. Rider Haggard.” In very good condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional association.

First published in September 1885 amid considerable fanfare, with billboards and posters around London announcing "The Most Amazing Book Ever Written", King Solomon's Mines was immediate best seller. By the late 19th century, explorers were uncovering ancient civilizations around the world, such as Egypt's Valley of the Kings, and the empire of Assyria. Inner Africa remained largely unexplored and King Solomon's Mines, one of the first novels of African adventure published in English, captured the public's imagination. Haggard knew Africa well, having travelled deep within the continent during the Anglo-Zulu War and the First Boer War, where he had been impressed by South Africa's vast mineral wealth and by the ruins of ancient lost cities being uncovered, such as Great Zimbabwe. His original Allan Quatermain character was based in large part on Frederick Courtney Selous, the British white hunter and explorer of Colonial Africa.

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