Fiction Film

King Solomon’s Mines (1885) by Sir H. Rider Haggard

King Solomon's Mines is a fun adventure story that takes the reader into a mysterious land.

King Solomon's Mines King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

King Solomons Mines (1885) by Sir Henry Rider Haggard, a great adventure writer of his time, especially with novels, like this one, that follow the quests of Allan Quatermain.

King Solomons Mines is a grand journey across the Kalukawe River and into the great desert that spans some forty leagues and toward Sheba’s Breasts, the mighty snow capped mountains that bar the way to Solomon’s Road and to Kukuanaland where the Kukuana guard the diamond mines from ages past.

Sir Henry Rider Haggard, British Novelist (1856-1925)

The story begins with Allan Quatermain being hired by Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good to help them track down Curtis’s brother who sought Solomon’s diamond mines some two years before. On their journey, Quatermain hires on Umbopa, a native of extraordinary stature and who turns out to be named Ignosi, the rightful heir of the Kukuana.

Most of the book revolves around Umbopa/Ignosi and his struggles to regain power in Kukuanaland. He is aided by Quatermain, Curtis, and Cpt. Good, and for their reward they are granted access to the diamond mines, except the evil witch Gagool has other plans for the ‘white men from the stars’.

The story is fast paced and could have easily been written in these modern times. Haggard, writing as Quatermain, states thus: “And now it only remains for me to offer apologies for my blunt way of writing…I suppose they– the flights and flourishes– are desirable, and I regret not being able to supply them,” and he adds the Kukuana saying [which might be best quoted by any writer] that “a sharp spear needs no polish” (8).

And this book is a prime example of Flaubert’s influence with Madame Bovary (1856) that sought a straightforward, realistic approach to writing often quoted as “le mot juste.”

A few passages I found enjoyable now follow:

“Yes,” answered Sir Henry, “it is far. But there is no journey upon this earth that a man may not make if he sets his heart to it. There is nothing, Umbopa, that he cannot do. There are no mountains he may not climb, there are no deserts he cannot cross, save a mountain and a desert of which you are spared the knowledge, if love leads him and he holds his life in his hand counting it as nothing, ready to keep it or lose it as heaven above may order” (50).


How true.

Now one more for good measure:

“As soon as she was lifted from her hammock Gagool cast one evil glare upon us; then, leaning on a stick, she hobbled off towards the face of this wall. We followed her till we came to a narrow portal solidly arched that looked like the opening of a gallery of a mine.

“Here Gagool was waiting for us, with a devilish grin upon her horrid face.

” ‘Now, white men from the stars.’ she piped; ‘great warriors, Incubu, Bougwan and Macumazahn the wise, are ye ready? Behold, I am here to do the bidding of my lord the king, and to show you the store of bright stones. Ha! ha! ha!’ (182-183).

King Solomons Mines is a fun adventure story that takes the reader into a mysterious land and people in search of the greatest treasure the world has ever known, but along the way there are certain lessons to be learned, and one may find that of all the diamonds in the world, there is nothing like the treasure home may provide. A recommend for those who love stories, and for those who enjoy books that are difficult to close.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


CG FEWSTON was born in Texas in 1979 and now lives in Hong Kong. He’s been a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, and a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy).

He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Fathers Son, The New America: A Collection, Vanity of Vanities, A Time to Love in Tehran, and forthcoming: Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being; Little Hometown, America: A Look Back; and, The Endless Endeavor of Excellence.

You can read more about the author on Facebook @ cg.fewston – where he has 305,000+ followers

Share the knowledge:

72 comments on “King Solomon’s Mines (1885) by Sir H. Rider Haggard

  1. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s
    both equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt,
    you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something
    that too few folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I’m very happy that I found this in my search for something concerning this.

  2. It’s not my first time to visit this site, i am visiting this web site dailly
    and get good information from here everyday.

  3. Yes! Finally something about books.

  4. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this amazing site needs
    a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be returning to
    read through more, thanks for the info!

  5. I’m extremely pleased to find this page. I want to to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!!
    I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and i also have
    you book-marked to look at new information on your

  6. I’m curious to find out what blog system you have been using?
    I’m having some small security problems with my latest website and I’d like to
    find something more secure. Do you have any suggestions?

  7. Keep on writing, great job!

  8. You’ve made some really good points there. I looked on the internet to learn more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.

  9. My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different website and thought I might ass well check things out.
    I lkke what I see so noww i am follpwing you. Look forward to looking at your web page repeatedly.

  10. Fantastic website. Lots of useful information here. I?¦m sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you for your sweat!

  11. Hi there, just wanted to mention, I loved this article.
    It was practical. Keep on posting!

  12. This is my first time pay a quick visit at here
    and i am really happy to read everthing at alone place.

  13. Thanks to my father who stated to me on the topic of this
    weblog, this weblog is actually awesome.

  14. Hello to all, it’s actually a nice for me to visit this site, it
    contains precious Information.

  15. I’ve been browsing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, but I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made excellent
    content material as you probably did, the web will probably be much more helpful than ever before.

  16. Wonderful work! This is the kind of information that are meant to be shared around the internet. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this put up higher! Come on over and seek advice from my website . Thank you =)

Leave a Comment Below: