Imagining Africa: Landscape in H. Rider Haggard's African Romances

Imagining Africa: Landscape in H. Rider Haggard's African Romances

Imagining Africa: Landscape in H. Rider Haggard's African Romances

Imagining Africa: Landscape in H. Rider Haggard's African Romances

Synopsis

Best known as the author of King Solomon's Mines, H. Rider Haggard was one of the most popular late-Victorian novelists, and his works continue to be influential today. Stiebel brings a full-length study of Haggard's use of landscape in his African romances. The volume approaches Haggard's construction of an imaginary African landscape as a product of late-Victorian wishful thinking about Africa, analyzing his African topography as a vast Eden, a wilderness, a dream underworld, a home to ancient white civilizations, and a sexualized metaphor for the human body. While the work looks primarily at his pre-1892 romances, which were his most powerful, it also gives attention to his nonfiction and unpublished papers. Because Haggard's writings embodied the spirit of his age, this book is an essential guide to late-Victorian concepts of Africa, colonization, and the British Empire.

Excerpt

This project is the result of several years' research in South Africa, England and the United States, and thus thanks for financial assistance is due to the South African National Research Foundation and to the University of DurbanWestville Research Committee, whose research grants enabled me to travel to far-off archives and libraries.

My sincere thanks are extended to the following people: Professor Margaret Lenta of the Department of English, University of Natal (Durban) and Professor Norman Etherington of the Department of History, University of Western Australia, for their incisive comments on earlier drafts of this book, Glenda Robson for administrative assistance, Judith Shier for compiling the index, and, of course, my family for their constant support. Thanks are also due to Commander and Mrs. Mark Cheyne (Sir Rider Haggard's descendants); Roger Allen, founder and editor of the Rider Haggard Society, England; and especially Stephen Coan, assistant editor at The Natal Witness, for their willingness to answer my queries.

I would like to thank the following librarians and archivists who have helped expedite my research: Diana Madden at the Brenthurst Library; Paulette Coetzee at the National English Literature Museum; Bobby Eldridge at the Killie Campbell Africana Library; Seema Maharaj at Inter-Library Loan, University of Natal; Jean Kennedy, county archivist at the Norfolk Record Office; and Cliff Farrington at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin. Drafts of various chapters were presented at a number of conferences over the past few years, including the African Literature Association's annual meetings at Guadeloupe and Austin, Texas; at the Association for New English Literatures meeting at the University of Hannover; at a South African literature colloquium at Palacky University, Czech Republic; and at the Association of English Teachers of Southern Africa annual meeting . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.