H. Rider Haggard Quotes

Henry Rider Haggard, 1856 – 1925

Born: 22 June 1856, Bradenham, Norfolk, England, UK
Died: 14 May 1925, London, England, UK

The eighth of ten children and the youngest son, his father chose not to finance a private education for him, he attended Ipswich Grammar School. He failed his army entrance exam, then was sent to a “private crammer” to prepare him for a position in the British Foreign Office but he never even took the test. In 1875 his father sent him to Africa, securing an unpaid position with the Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Natal. A year later he was on the staff of the Special Commissioner for the Transvaal. In April of 1877 he raised the Union Jack over Pretoria when the British annexed the Boer Republic, and when the official appointed to read the official proclamation lost his voice, Haggard made the formal announcement. He fell in love with Lilly Jackson but before he had enough income to marry her she was married to a banker, in 1880 Haggard returned to England and married Louisa Margitson. Lilly’s banker husband absconded with her money and Haggard would later provide her and her children with a home for many years.

Haggard and Louisa returned to England in 1881, he studied law and was called to the bar in 1884 but practiced very little. Instead he started writing fantastic novels of adventure, primarily in Africa, and mostly featuring Allan Quatermain. The first of these was King Solomon’s Mines, published in 1885. She, the epic story of Ayesha (the original She Who Must Be Obeyed) was published in 1887 and would sell over 80 million copies. His books were notable for the sympathetic treatment of natives and women and created the “Lost Worlds” genre. (Without him we might not have Indiana Jones.) Haggard was also active in reforming agriculture throughout the Commonwealth, he wrote several books on farming and served on various commissions related to land use. Like his close friend of Rudyard Kipling, he was a loyal servant and supporter of the British Empire. He was made a Knight Bachelor (1912) and Knight Commander (1919), he narrowly lost his only run for Parliament.

H. Rider Haggard quotes:

Adventurer — he that goes out to meet whatever may come. Well, that is what we all do in the world one way or another.
    H. Rider Haggard – Allan Quatermain (1887)

And now let us love and take that which is given us, and be happy; for in the grave there is no love and no warmth, nor any touching of the lips. Nothing perchance, or perchance but bitter memories of what might have been.
    H. Rider Haggard – She (1887)

As I grow older , I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me.
    H. Rider Haggard – King Solomon’s Mines (1885)

As I grow older, I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me.
    H. Rider Haggard

At length the heralds and forerunners of the royal sun had done their work, and, searching out the shadows, had caused them to flee away. Then up he came in glory from his ocean-bed, and flooded the earth with warmth and light.
    H. Rider Haggard – She (1887)

Civilization is only savagery silver-gilt.
    H. Rider Haggard – Allan Quatermain (1887)

For he was a merciful man, who loved not slaughter, although his fierce faith drove him from war to war.
    H. Rider Haggard – The Brethren (1904)

From the east to the west sped the angels of the Dawn, from sea to sea, from mountain-top to mountain-top, scattering light with both their hands.
    H. Rider Haggard – She (1887)

Hard is it to die, because our delicate flesh doth shrink back from the worm it will not feel, and from that unknown which the winding-sheet doth curtain from our view. But harder still, to my fancy, would it be to live on, green in the leaf and fair, but dead and rotten at the core, and feel that other secret worm of recollection gnawing ever at the heart.
    H. Rider Haggard – She (1887)

I have never observed that the religious are more eager to die than the rest of us poor mortals.
    H. Rider Haggard – The Ancient Allan (1920)

It is a hard thing when one has shot sixty-five lions or more, as I have in the course of my life, that the sixty-sixth should chew your leg like a quid of tobacco. It breaks the routine of the thing, and putting other considerations aside, I am an orderly man and don’t like that. This is by the way.
    H. Rider Haggard – King Solomon’s Mines (1885)

It is awkward to listen to oneself being praised, and I was always a shy man.
    H. Rider Haggard – Allan and the Holy Flower (1915)

It is curious to look back and realize upon what trivial and apparently coincidental circumstances great events frequently turn as easily and naturally as a door on its hinges.
    H. Rider Haggard – Allan Quatermain (1887)

It is far. But there is no journey upon this earth that a man may not make if he sets his heart to it. There is nothing, Umbopa, that he cannot do, there are no mountains he may not climb, there are no deserts he cannot cross; save a mountain and a a desert of which you are spared the knowledge, if love leads him and he holds his life in his hand counting it as nothing, ready to keep it or to lose it as Providence may order.
    H. Rider Haggard – King Solomon’s Mines (1885)

It is not wise to neglect the present for the future, for who knows what the future will be?
    H. Rider Haggard – Allan Quatermain (1887)

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