chapter  13
10 Pages

The Horror of Reproduction in Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines

WithEve Dunbar

Born in Norfolk, England, in 1856, Rider Haggard spent much of his early life living on his family's rural estate. In King Solomon's Mines Haggard begins his creative annihilation by having his narrator, Alan Quatermain, write a strange "history" that contains no women. Foulata and Gagool represent aspects of African culture that Haggard's tale wishes to eliminate: a means of reproduction and a means of history retention. The reader of King Solomon's Mines is constantly made aware of how important bodies are to this particular narrative. The mutilation of the "Kaffir" is strictly gratuitous, thus marking the beginning of the narrative's compelling quest to mutilate as many native African bodies as possible. King Solomon's Mines seeks to destroy black bodies and, as demonstrated by the intra-tribal war, killing African warriors might not be the most fruitful method for getting this job done.