Best 1912 Adventures (7)

By: Joshua Glenn
January 28, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1912 adventure novels. Happy 105th anniversary!


H. Rider Haggard’s frontier adventure Marie.

In this prequel to previously published Allan Quatermain novels — including King Solomon’s Mines (1885), Allan Quatermain (1887), and Maiwa’s Revenge (1888) — Quatermain is a teenage Englishman in South Africa, who falls in love with a Boer farm girl, Marie. Their romance — set against the time of the Great Trek in the 1830s — is opposed both by Marie’s anti-English father, and a villainous Portuguese, Pereira, who desires Marie. The book begins with a thrilling battle, and ends with Marie’s tragic death — not a spoiler, because we’re told from the beginning that this will happen. (As with all books from this era, there’s a fair amount of racism — for example, Quatermain’s Khoikhoi (Hottentot) servant, who is loyal and courageous, is described as having a “toad-like face”… and is treated as a beast of burden.)

Fun facts: This is the first installment in Haggard’s excellent Zulu trilogy, in which Quatermain becomes ensnared in the vengeance of Zikali — a Zulu wizard known as “The-thing-that-should-never-have-been-born.” The other two installments are Child of Storm (1913) and Finished (1917).


Let me know if I’ve missed any 1912 adventures that you particularly admire.


Adventure, Lit Lists