About the BookKing Solomon’s Mines, the first English adventure novel set in Africa describes 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.
The novel is Allan Quatermain’s adventurous account of his quest through a dangerous, unknown area of Africa, accompanied by Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good. Sir Henry retains Quatermain to guide their expedition to find Sir Henry’s brother, who had gone missing in the jungle to discover the legendary diamond mines of King Solomon. With the help of an ancient map, the adventurers set out from Durban, South Africa, and travel into the previously unexplored wilderness. For months they travel through the African bush, cross a great desert, where they almost die of thirst, and climb the snowy mountains known as “Sheba’s Breasts”, where it is so cold that they barely escape freezing to death. Eventually, they arrive in fertile Kukuanaland, where they help restore a native king to his rightful throne and discover the legendary diamond mines. Taking a different route, they find Sir Henry’s brother stranded in an oasis. He has a broken leg, and is unable to go forward or back, and is thus rescued. They return to Durban and eventually to England, wealthy enough to live comfortable lives.
King Solomon’s Mines is believed to have created a new genre, called the “Lost World”, which inspired Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Land That Time Forgot; Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World; Rudyard Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King; and H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.