King Solomon's Mines

by H. Rider Haggard

A bold elephant hunter journeys to an unknown land in search of fabled lost treasure. But terrible dangers threaten anyone who approaches the wonderful diamond mines of King Solomon.

On board a ship bound for Natal, adventurer Allan Quatermain meets Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good. His new friends have set out to find Sir Henry’s younger brother, who vanished while seeking King Solomon’s legendary diamond mines in the African interior. By strange chance, Quatermain has a map to the mines, drawn in blood, and agrees to join the others on their perilous journey. The travelers face many dangers on their quest—the baking desert heat, freezing mountains, the hostile lost tribe they discover, and the evil “wise woman” who holds the secret of the diamond mines.

King Solomon’s Mines is a brilliant work of adventure romance that has gripped readers for generations. This novel is an enduring favorite that is filled with qualities close to the human heart: the spirit of adventure and discovery, the desire for immortality, primal terror, and the search for the primitive. Few knew the Dark Continent as Haggard did; his experience of savage life and wild lands lends a visceral credibility that makes us believe the impossible. Yet beyond all this lies a feeling for the supernatural. Adventure alone was not enough for Haggard: “The thing must have a heart.”

It goes and it grips and it moves with all the freshness of youth. -- Rudyard Kipling

When Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island was first published, H. Rider Haggard made a five-shilling bet that he could write a better adventure tale. In 1885, he created King Solomon's Mines, a story in which Allan Quatermain, a gentleman adventurer, is hired to locate a man who had disappeared into the heart of Africa while hunting for the legendary lost diamond mines of King Solomon. The book became an instant sensation and has remained popular ever since.

Tales of adventure in exotic settings were the hallmark of Haggard's art; and King Solomon's Mines was no exception. Here were all the elements for which his novels were famous: a gripping tale in a foreign setting, supernatural adventures, terror, passion, and discovery. Praised as the most amazing story ever written, the book went on to become one of the bestselling novels of the 19th century.

Year First Published:1885

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