Best 1921 Adventures (5)

By: Joshua Glenn
February 10, 2016

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1921 adventure novels. Happy 95th anniversary!

H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain adventure She and Allan.

Haggard, the king of sequels, here writes what is almost a piece of fan fiction, one which unites characters from two hugely popular earlier novels of his. Hoping to communicate with deceased loved ones, the English-born professional big game hunter Allan Quatermain (from Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, 1885) seeks out a great white sorceress who rules a hidden African kingdom. On the way there, Quatermain meets a fearsome Zulu warrior chieftain, Umslopogaas — who, by the way, will become a recurring character in future Haggard adventures. Quatermain and Umslopogaas seek to rescue a beautiful European girl from a tribe of cannibals, and the chase takes them to the ruins of the ancient city of Kôr… where dwells Ayesha, the immortal enchantress (from Haggard’s She, 1886). Ayesha enlists Quatermain and Umslopogaas to lead her warriors against the forces of Rezu, a fearsome upstart. Oh, and Allan communes with the dead!

Fun fact: She and Allan is an early example of a prequel; it takes place before the events of King Solomon’s Mines and She. The character Ayesha was a hugely influential one: C.S. Lewis patterned the White Witch on Ayesha; and Tolkien’s Galadriel is a version of She, as well.

Let me know if I’ve missed any 1921 adventures that you particularly admire.