Benita: an African Romance
Publisher: Dead Dodo Presents Rider Haggard
Dodo Collections brings you another classic from H. Rider Haggard, ‘Benita, an African Romance.’
An adventurous trader, it is said, hearing the legend of a great treasure buried a party of Portuguese hundreds of years before, as a last resource attempted its discovery by the help of a mesmerist. A child was put into a trance, and gave his mesmerist details of the adventures and death of the unhappy Portuguese men and women. With much other detail, the boy described the burial of the great treasure and its exact situation so accurately that the white man and the mesmerist were able to dig for and find the place "where it had been" -- for the bags were gone, swept out by the floods of the river. In another trance, the boy revealed where the sacks still lay; but before the white trader could renew his search for them, the party was hunted out of the country by natives whose superstitious fears were aroused, barely escaping with their lives.
Sir Henry Rider Haggard was an English writer of adventure novels set in exotic locations, predominantly Africa, and the creator of the Lost World literary genre. His stories, situated at the lighter end of the scale of Victorian literature, continue to be popular and influential. He was also involved in agricultural reform and improvement in the British Empire.
His breakout novel was King Solomon's Mines (1885), which was to be the first in a series telling of the multitudinous adventures of its protagonist, Allan Quatermain.
Haggard was made a Knight Bachelor in 1912 and a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1919. He stood unsuccessfully for Parliament as a Conservative candidate for the Eastern division of Norfolk in 1895. The locality of Rider, British Columbia, was named in his memory.