Allan Quatermain is the protagonist of H. Rider Haggard's 1885 novel King Solomon's Mines and its sequels. Allan Quatermain was also the title of a book in this sequence. Haggard wrote the book over his summer holiday in 1885 immediately after King Solomon's Mines. It was first serialised in Longman's Magazine before being published. The character Allan Quatermain is an English-born professional b...
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 11, 2014)
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I discovered Haggard when I was still in high school and became captivated by his style and knowledge of Africa. His adventure stories are extraordinary and keeps me reading long into the night, despite having read everything he wrote many times ove...
ter and occasional trader in southern Africa, who supports colonial efforts to 'spread civilization' in the 'dark continent', though he also favours native Africans having a say in their affairs. An outdoorsman who finds English cities and climate unbearable, he prefers to spend most of his life in Africa, where he grew up under the care of his widower father, a Christian missionary. In the earliest-written novels, native Africans refer to Allan Quatermain as Macumazahn, meaning "Watcher-by-Night," a reference to his nocturnal habits and keen instincts. In later-written novels, Macumazahn is said to be a short form of Macumazana, meaning "One who stands out." Allan Quatermain is frequently accompanied by his native servant, the Hottentot Hans, a wise and caring family retainer from his youth. His sarcastic comments offer a sharp critique of European conventions. In his final adventures, Quatermain is joined by two British companions, Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good of the Royal Navy, and by his African friend Umslopogaas. The series spans 50 years of Allan Quatermain's life, from 18 to 68; at the start of the foundation novel King Solomon's Mines, he has just turned 55. Physically, he is small, wiry, and unattractive, with a beard and short hair that sticks up. His one skill is his marksmanship, where he has no equal. Allan Quatermain is aware that as a professional hunter, he has helped to destroy his beloved wild free places of Africa. In old age he hunts without pleasure, having no other means of making a living. About Allan Quatermain's family, little is written. He lives at Durban, in Natal, South Africa. He marries twice, but is quickly widowed both times. He entrusts the printing of memoirs in the series to his son Harry, whose death he mourns in the opening of the novel Allan Quatermain. Harry Quatermain is a medical student who dies of smallpox while working in a hospital. Haggard did not write the Allan Quatermain novels in chronological order, and made errors with some details. Quatermain's birth, age at the time of his marriages, and age at the time of his death cannot be reconciled to the apparent date of Harry's birth and age at death.