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King's Solomon's Mines is an adventure novel by H. Rider Haggard, first published in 1885. It tells of a group of Englishmen who travel into Darkest Africa in search of the legendary diamond mines of The Bible's King Solomon.
It was enormously successful, launching the Jungle Opera genre, and was followed by over a dozen sequels and prequels featuring the protagonist Allan Quatermain, including a crossover with Haggard's other most famous novel, She. It has been adapted for film and television many times.
King Solomon's Mines provides examples of:
- Convenient Eclipse
- Crossing the Desert
- Darkest Africa
- Gentleman Adventurer: Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good
- Great White Hunter: Allan Quatermain
- High-Class Glass: Sir Henry Curtis
- Jungle Opera
- Mighty Whitey: Sir Henry Curtis
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Ignosi
- Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere
- Tested on Humans: The king of the Kukuana people asks Allan Quatermain to show the effects of his rifle upon his assembled warriors. Quatermain replies by telling the king he would be glad to do so if the king volunteers to be the subject of the experiment. At which point it is decided to use an ox instead.
- This Is My Boomstick
Haggard's sequels and prequels provide examples of:
- Badass Grandpa:
- Umslopogaas, son of Chaka, is still kicking ass and taking names when he's over 60 years old.
- Hunter Quatermain was no slouch as an old man, either.
- Blood Knight: Umslopogaas in Alan Quatermain. Henry is a bit like this in King Solomon's Mines as well but not to the extent of Umslopogaas.
- Character Title: Allan Quatermain
- Inevitable Crossover: She and Allan
- Interquel: Some of the later Quatermain novels.
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: Used in some of the Quatermain novels.
- Lost World: Allan Quatermain found several; Haggard was one of the trope makers.
- Mental Time Travel: The Ancient Allan and Allan and the Ice Gods
- Noble Savage: Umslopogaas, son of Chaka, in Alan Quatermain.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Umsloppagaas in Alan Quatermain.
- Wild Child: Hendrika the Baboon Woman from Allan's Wife
Adaptations provide examples of:
- Improbable Hairstyle: Elizabeth Curtis from the Deborah Kerr adaptation gets sick of her waist length hair in the humid African jungle and hacks a slice out of it. When it cuts to the next scene she has cut it short into a perfectly styled short do. That style might have been fashionable in the 1950s when the film came out but the film is set in the 1800s when women didn't have short hair. Test audiences actually laughed their heads off at the scenes when they first saw them that the producers nearly removed them. But they couldn't explain Elizabeth's change of hairstyle so they kept the improbable scenes in the film.
- Throw-Away Guns: Parodied in the 1985 comedy/adventure film adaptation. The female character throws a gun at the villain; he shouts: "Thank you!" and uses it to blast away at her.
- Token Romance: Every single adaptation of King Solomon's Mines manages to shoehorn in a white female love interest who wasn't in the book.
- Tree-Top Town: In the version with Richard Chamberlain they meet a tribe of people who live entirely in the trees, never touching the ground.