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The Saga of Eric Brighteyes - Illustrated: Tolkien's Bookshelf #6: Volume 6 Paperback – 1 Jun 2013
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About the Author
Sir Henry Rider Haggard, KBE (22 June 1856 - 14 May 1925) was an English author. He wrote adventure novels in exotic settings, chiefly colonial Africa, where he lived, worked and travelled for several years. His stories were the first in the 'Lost World' literary genre, which influenced popular American pulp writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Philip José Farmer, and Abraham Merritt. Tolkien greatly enjoyed Haggard's novels, in particular 'She' (1887)and 'Eric Brighteyes' (1891). It can be imagined that he would have been interested in the other three titles in the immensely popular 'She' series when they appeared - 'Ayesha: The Return of She' (1905),' She and Allan' (1921), and 'Wisdom's Daughter' (1923). Fantasy author H.P. Lovecraft, too, praised Haggard. To 21st century readers parts of Haggard's work may seem 'politically incorrect'. He was a man of his time, as we are men and women of ours. His books are not devoid of racism, sexism and ruthless exploitation of wild animals; it is best, however, to with-hold judgement and not allow it to spoil the pleasure of reading literary classics. Several of Haggard's books contain references to volcanoes. Reading them, one is reminded of Tolkien's descriptions of Mount Doom. In 'She', Haggard depicts marshlands reminiscent of the Dead Marshes in The Lord of the Rings. Haggard's protagonists, like Tolkien's, make long journeys, endure painful ordeals, travel underground and are often swept into wars. They encounter beings who are either impossibly long-lived or immortal. Landscape, rock formations and geography play a vital role in Haggard's adventures, as they do in Tolkien's work.
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