Black Heart and White Heart: A Zulu Idyll
Publisher: Dead Dodo Presents Rider Haggard
Dodo Collections brings you another classic from H. Rider Haggard, ‘Black Heart and White Heart: A Zulu Idyll.’
In "Black Heart And White Heart", H. Rider Haggard mounts once more those trusty steeds of his, the nobility of the savage and the rascality of the civilized white. He rides, too, with all his old dexterity, and the story concerning Zulus, witches, battles, sacrifices, and traitors, of which this volume consists, will revive the pleasures of reading his books.
"Has the age of miracle quite gone by?" asks H. Rider Haggard concerning this story. "Hardly," most readers would be inclined to answer, if the question were put to them while their brains were alive with the witcheries and the wonders which are Haggard's " stock-in trade." The marvels he recounts lose nothing in effect because they deal with the immediate and the remote past of the country in which Briton and Boer have just fought the fight for supremacy and empire. And by an odd coincidence, a book which opens with a description of an encounter between an Englishman and a Boer at Utrecht appeared on the very day on which Utrecht was occupied by British forces.
Haggard takes us to Zululand just before the outbreak of the war which crushed the power of Cetewayo, to ancient Zimbabwe, just before the period at which the Phoenicians may be supposed to have succumbed to the attacks of the native barbarians, and to a part of Central Africa occupied by the Children of Fire, whose country had been penetrated, and whose horrible customs had been observed by none but a solitary missionary.
The novelist rings the changes on scenes and ideas which he has made familiar; here are the wizardry, the superstitions, the horrors, the deeds of devotion, of treachery, of love and of triumph, the superlative heroism, spiritual and material, which characterize all his work. Imagination runs riot, making unrealities live, and the fascination of "King Solomon's Mines" and " She" is over all.
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.