Rediscovered: H. Rider Haggard

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: What kind of Lost Race Auto Weekend is this, anyway, if you don’t lay down an H. Rider Haggard?

I agree, so we sent Brian Leno into the darkest corners of his cubbyholes and closets, digging, digging — and did he excavate a Haggard?

Sure he did.

Brian notes, “Pretty cool — since it is dated Sept. 1904 it is exactly 115 years old.

King Solomon’s Mines, a book I’ve read a few times and have always enjoyed, came out in 1885, and was quickly followed by She and Allan Quartermain. These three novels pretty much started the ‘Lost Race’ genre. In 1905 another great Haggard tale, Ayesha: The Return of She, would come out in bookform.

“Any writer worth his salt would have given much to be able to sign his name to the above Haggard novels.

“So I had to have a Haggard signature, and I’ve had this one for a while. Haggard, if the collector takes his time, can be acquired for a fairly decent price.

“Autograph collecting, while not having the epic vitality of an Allan Quatermain quest or the excitement of poking about in ruins thousands of years old, is, though, a lot safer.

“Armchair adventure. Haggard’s one helluva guide.”

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