Allan Quartermain had been a trader and hunter all his life and knew Africa as well as any white man. He was returning to Natal, South Africa, when Sir Henry Curtis tracked him down and made him a proposition. Curtis's brother had heard of the famous, fabled diamond mines of King Solomon. He has taken an expedition into the unchartered interior to find it. He has not returned. Quartermain possesses an old map purporting to show the way to the fabled mines so, in return for a share of the treasure or a handsome stipend for his son if he dies in the attempt, Quartermain agrees to mount a rescue expedition. They journey over snowy mountains, through deserts, and into battle, but it is when the adventurers reach their destination that they must face Gagaoola, evil, clever and the greatest danger of all.
H Rider Haggard was born in 1856 in Norfolk but went to South Africa in 1975 and pronounced the British annexation of the Transvaal. He returned to England for good in 1882, after which he studied law and was called to the bar. He was a prolific writer, best known for his adventure novels which inspired a whole new genre of writing and influenced writers as diverse as Freud, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur Conan-Doyle and George Lucas;Rider Haggard was also interested in social justice and wrote extensively on the subject. He was knighted in 1912 and died in 1925.