King Solomon’s Mines
  • Publication Date: August 12, 2002
  • ISBN: 9781551114392 / 1551114399
  • 306 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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King Solomon’s Mines

  • Publication Date: August 12, 2002
  • ISBN: 9781551114392 / 1551114399
  • 306 pages; 5½" x 8½"

When first published, King Solomon’s Mines (1885) was an enormous popular success. The narrative follows the explorations of Allan Quatermain, a fortune hunter who travels to Africa in search of ancient treasures and a lost fellow explorer. Written as an adventure story, the novel is also a late-Victorian imperial romance that illuminates the politics of British imperialist capitalism in 1870s and 1880s South Africa.

This edition includes contemporary reviews, other writings by Haggard on Africa and romance, and documents focusing on imperialism and diamond mining in late nineteenth-century South Africa.


“Scholars, students and general readers will welcome Gerald Monsman’s new edition, which comes lavishly supplied with illuminating contextual documents. In a provocative introductory essay, Professor Monsman describes the mythopoeic ambition of King Solomon’s Mines by recovering its intellectual context in Victorian anthropology. Haggard sought to create an Africa of the imagination, more precious for the access it gave modern readers to their alienated psychic origins than for its material resources. Readers of this excellent new edition will find that the fictions of imperialism were richer and stranger than they had thought.” — Ian Duncan, University of California, Berkeley

H. Rider Haggard: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

King Solomon’s Mines

Appendix A: Victorian Critical Reaction

  1. The Saturday Review, 10 October 1885
  2. Robert Louis Stevenson, 1885
  3. The Spectator, 7 November 1885
  4. The Literary World, 23 January 1886
  5. Gerard Manley Hopkins, 28 October 1886
  6. The Dial, May 1887
  7. The Book Buyer, August 1887
  8. The Church Quarterly Review, January 1888
  9. Fortnightly Review, 1 September 1888
  10. Forum, May 1889

Appendix B: Haggard on Africa and Romance

  1. “Notes on King Solomon’s Mines” (1906)
  2. “Anecdote” (c. 1876)
  3. “A Zulu War-Dance” (1877)
  4. “About Fiction” (1877)

Appendix C: Historical Documents: Natives and Imperialists in South Africa

  1. Fred Fynney, Zululand and the Zulus (1880)
  2. John Ruskin, Lectures on Art (1873)
  3. Cecil Rhodes,“Confession of Faith” (1877)
  4. Cecil Rhodes, Speeches (1881-1900)
  5. Olive Schreiner, Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland (1897)
  6. Olive Schreiner, Thoughts on South Africa (1890-92)

Appendix D: Historical Documents: Spoils of Imperialism: Gold, Diamonds, and Ivory

  1. The Bible, I Kings 10: 1-13
  2. Kebra Negast (c. 14th Century)
  3. “The Ophir of Scripture,” The Illustrated London News, 11 January 1873
  4. Hugh Mulleneux Walmsley, The Ruined Cities of Zulu Land (1869)
  5. Olive Schreiner, “Diamond Fields” (c. 1880)
  6. Frederick Courteney Selous, A Hunter’s Wanderings in Africa (1890)

Works Cited and Recommended Reading

Gerald Monsman is a Professor of English at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Olive Schreiner’s Fiction: Landscape and Power (1991).