H. Rider Haggard's 1885 novel King Solomon's Mines introduced his most famous character, the professional hunter and adventurer, Allan Quatermain, to the literary world. With this novel, and its sequel, Allan Quatermain, Haggard more or less invented the "lost civilization" novel. Other books along the same line, such as She, and Ayesha, would add to that primacy of place, making Haggard one of the most popular novelists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
In King Solomon's Mines, Quatermain and his companions, Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good, along with the Zulu warrior Umbopa, cross a nearly impassable desert and somehow make it to Kukuanaland, where strangers are killed as a matter of policy. Because the Kukuanas have never encountered firearms, the Europeans are able to convince them that they come "from the stars," and possess powerful magic, which saves their lives. Before long they find themselves in the middle of a civil war, which must be settled before they are able to enter the treasure chamber of the legendary diamond mines.
Our edition has been carefully edited, and includes a new Foreword by popular novelist and historian J.T. McDaniel, along with a great many new notes clarifying now obscure references in the text.