This premium quality edition contains the complete and unabridged original classic versions of King Solomon's Mines and the sequel, Allan Quatermain, printed on heavy, bright white paper in a large 6 x9 format, with page headers and a fully laminated full-color cover featuring an original design. Published in 1885 King Solomon's Mines became the best selling book of the year after being rejected by numerous publishers who found it too unusual to publish. The first lost world vel and the first English adventure vel set in Africa, it was also unconventional for its use of the first person subjective viewpoint and simple conversational style. The storyline, unique at the time, tells of the search for the lost brother of Sir Henry Curtis through an unexplored region of Africa. Curtis and his companion, Captain Good, search out Allan Hunter Quatermain, an African big-game hunter who agrees to lead the expedition despite his misgivings. When he realizes that Curtis' brother was searching for the diamond mines of King Solomon, Quatermain produces a crude map and a letter supposedly written by a Potuguese explorer claiming to have found the fabulous diamond mines. The expedition is joined by the mysterious Umbopa, a native who is determined to go along. Encountering a series of adventures along the way they reach their destination, discover a lost civilization and see Umbopa's secret revealed, only to be embroiled in a series of life-and-death adventures. A true sequel, 1887's Allan Quatermain, begins with Hunter Quatermain mourning the death of his only son, who died of smallpox while working in a hospital during an outbreak, and growing bored with the life of a wealthy English gentlemen. When Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good appear unexpectedly and tell him of their desire to return to Africa Quatermain reveals his own intention to search an unexplored region for a fabled lost tribe of white men. Joined by the aging Zulu warrior Umslopogaas, an old comrade of Quatermain's, the party battles native warriors, travels along an underground river, and finds the land of Zu-Vendis. Hidden by forbidding mountains, the land is ruled by two sisters. The sudden appearance of Quatermain's expedition sets off a chain of events leading to war, and Quatermain and his companions play a major role in the ensuing conflict. Haggard's tales of African adventures were remarkable t only for their originality but for Haggard's attitude toward native Africans. Unusual for writers in the colonial era, Haggard openly held that many Africans were more ble and admirable than many of the Europeans who came to Africa. His vels include complex and heroic native characters as well as evil and barbaric natives. King Solomon's Mines includes an interracial romance to which the Quatermain character has objection, but which he tries to discourage because of how it will be received when Captain Good returns to England. Sir Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925) wrote King Solomon's Mines on a bet, a five shilling wager with his brother that he could write a story half as good as Treasure Island. As a young man, Haggard traveled extensively in Africa as a mir government staff official during the Zulu and Boer Wars, and the Allan Quatermain character was based on the colorful adventurers he encountered there. Other elements of the story were influenced by the discoveries of the diamond fields and the ruins of ancient civilizations occurring around that time. Returning to England, Haggard married and became a member of the bar, but soon took up writing full time. Haggard wrote several popular vels while traveling to various parts of the Empire working for land reform. Like many Victorians, he dabbled in spiritualism and the pararmal. His most enduring characters, Allan Quatermain and Ayesha, were brought together in She and Allan, his last major work.