Mundane melodrama, aptly characterized by an aunt of Haggard's as "too full of amateur villains" In this, as in each of the novels except 27 and 30, there are one or two instances of psychic phenomena, such as clairvoyance or prevision, but such incidents do not in themselves make a story fantasy. The Witch's Head.
Mundane melodrama set mostly in England but partly in South Africa. King Solomon's Mines. Rivaling 5 in permanent popularity, this is the first of the Allan Quatermain romances; in the Kukuanas, Haggard's first depiction of the noble savage; and in the ancient ruins named by the title, his first treatment of borderline SF material. The story is essentially one of a hard journey that develops from a mere treasure hunt into a voyage of the spirit.
She: A History of Adventure. Like 4, essentially a voyage.
Fantasy elements include some archeological and anthropological speculations, psychic powers, a flame of perpetual youth, and reincarnation with a recurring triangle. Ayesha, or She-who-must-be-obeyed, a variation on the theme of the Wandering Jew, attracted a great deal of attention for many years after and continues to be the principal subject in most of the discussion of Haggard's fiction. See 33, 59, Haggard's first fully developed lost-race romance, and the chief model for all the many that followed from his and other pens.
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The imaginary world is more ruritanian than marvelous. The old Umslopogaas, noblest of savages, dies while winning victory for the rightful queen; the old Allan, wounded in the great battle, survives just long enough to complete his manuscript all the AQ stories are purportedly written by Allan himself, with Haggard serving merely as an editor.
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In the introduction to the Collins edition of this book, Roger Lancelyn Green offers a chronology for the events of the 18 AQ stories, but there are too many inconsistencies in the series, which was twice abandoned and resumed, to allow for a chronology that will not show Allan in two places at the same time or that will not make many of the other characters much older or younger in this story or that than they can possibly be. Meeson's Will. Partly a robinsonade; mostly mundane melodrama. Noble-savage romance, with AQ as a middle-aged hunter.
Colonel Quaritch, V. Mundane melodrama. Fantasy: the first extensive depiction of Haggard's spiritualist universe.
Allan's Wife, and Other Tales. Allan's Wife. In part fantasy Hendrika the baboon woman could well be the most immediate source of Tarzan but concerned mostly with how Allan met, wooed, and won Stella, said in chapter 11 to have been his only wife cf 48 , and how he was widowed. Hunter Quatermain's Story. Allan the Hunter. Beatrice: A novel. Tormented by unconsummated love, and determined to avoid the scandal that would ruin her soulmate's political career, Beatrice drowns herself.
Some readers having been offended by certain passages that seemed to offer a philosophic justification for adultery, Haggard made extensive revisions and prefixed an Advertisement that spelled out the moral: "the man or woman who falls into undesirable relations with a married member of the other sex is both a sinner and a fool, and, in this coin or that, certainly will be called upon to pay the price of sin and folly" — which evidently applies even when the lovers, as here, are determined not to consummate their love.
Cf comment on 14 and The World's Desire. With Andrew Lang. Fantasy: the spiritualist universe, reincarnation with the recurring triangle, and the time-travel paradox: two have become three Odysseus, aged but still vigorous; the virginal, pre-Menalaus Helen, as the embodiment of every man's first love; and Meriamun, sex incarnate and threaten to become four. This book-long lamentation of "post coitum, triste" evidently evoked no protest, presumably because it was set in a remote and fantastic world — for many Victorians the only kind of world in which they could accept sexuality as an object of contemplation.
Eric Brighteyes. Romance of 10th-century Iceland based on the Sagas ; some supernatural fantasy. Nada the Lily. Ranks with 4, 5, 7 as one of Haggard's most widely admired books. Noble-savage romance with some basis in history. Its hero is the young Umslopogaas see 7 ; its historical story is Chaka's rise to power and creation of the Zulu state, Dingaan's murder of Chaka and accession to the throne, and Panda's overthrow of Dingaan with the help of a Boer army, which heralds the coming dominance of the white man and the disintegration of Zulu society. The chapters in which Umslopogaas and his friend Galazi live and hunt with a pack of wolves were acknowledged by Kipling as important in the genesis of The Jungle Books.
Montezuma's Daughter. Historical romance of the voyage type, about an Englishman who fights with the Aztecs against Cortez. The People of the Mist. Lost-race fantasy. In central Africa a party of adventurers reach a forbidden land inhabited by "the degenerate inheritors of some ancient and forgotten civilization" who worship "divinities of Light and Darkness, or Death and Life, each springing from the other, engaged in an eternal struggle" — which provides roles for two of the adventurers: a dwarfish Black servant and protector of the white hero and the heroine, who thus becomes Haggard's first white goddess.
Heart of the World. Fantasy: a lost Mayan city in modern Mexico. The Wizard. Noble-savage romance with a white missionary as the catalyst. Borderline SF with a purpose: the weakening of the vaccination laws results in a plague that sweeps England. A lavishly illustrated journal of the changing seasons, the joys of rural life, and the problems of the farmer.
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Related Allan Quatermain Series, and Other Stories ( 29 Works of Sir Henry Rider Haggard )
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