King Solomon’s Mines (1885) is a popular novel by the English Victorian adventure writer and fabulist Sir H. Rider Haggard. It tells of a search of an unexplored region of Africa by a group of adventurers led by Allan Quatermain for the missing brother of one of the party. It is one of the first English adventure novels set in Africa and is considered to be the genesis of the lost world literary genre.
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The book was first published in September 1885 amid considerable fanfare, with billboards and posters around London announcing “The Most Amazing Book Ever Written”. It became an immediate best seller. By the late 19th century, explorers were uncovering ancient civilisations and their remains around the world, such as Egypt’s Valley of the Kings and the empire of Assyria. Inner Africa remained largely unexplored and King Solomon’s Mines, one of the first novels of African adventure published in English, captured the public’s imagination.