In 1914, H. Rider Haggard adventure novelist, diplomat, farmer, lawyer, and, above all, renowned author of such classic and influential bestsellers as King Solomon’s Mines and She returned to South Africa, the country that had fired his literary imagination, for the first time in a quarter century.
Haggard, whose work is today considered a prototype of colonial literature, barely recognized the Africa of his youth. The discovery of gold, the destruction of the Zulu kingdom, and the aftermath of the Anglo-Boer war had all radically transformed the political, cultural, and often physical landscape.
No longer the die hard imperialist of his youth, when conquest and colonization were the order of the day, Haggard toured southern Africa extensively during this trip, acquiring an impression of black politics and even meeting the first president of the African National Congress, John Dube. This is the chronicle, in Haggard’s own hand, of that journey.
A remarkable literary find, written by a man who helped shape Western perceptions of Africa, this hitherto unpublished manuscript presents a portrait both surprising and in some ways familiar of Africa and of a central figure in the literature of African colonialism.