Rider Haggard: His Extraordinary Life and Colonial Work
Rider Haggard: His Extraordinary Life and Colonial Work. A Literary Critical
The Online Publication
By Geoffrey Clarke.
© Mike Shepherd Photography
There is no excuse needed for basing this biography of Sir Henry Rider Haggard
on the personal account of his literary life given in his own words in his
autobiography, The Days of My Life. There can be no truer biography than that
given by the first hand witness, the author himself. Of course, in my book, I
have used memories provided by other family members, friends and colleagues
to supplement his very full, subjective life story.
In terms of the methodology in this biography, I have employed traditional
literary criticism allied with qualitative approaches to research, such as family
letters, portraits on canvas, evidence from correspondence between Haggard
and other authors, handwriting in the original texts to discern authorship,
sampling, observation, period plate photographs, a cinema newsreel, realia,
correspondence with the present author, and in depth interviews with living and
erstwhile members of the Haggard family.
Rather than make this biography a chronological survey of the life and work of
Henry Rider Haggard, I have arranged the study thematically. In this regard, a
general sweep of his career rolls over Norfolk, the Natal, Egypt, Iceland, Mexico,