The Buried Man

A Life of H. Rider Haggard

January 2025 9781911723752 672pp
Forthcoming Pre-order
Available as an eBook
EU Customers


H. Rider Haggard (1856–1925), author of King Solomon’s Mines, Allan Quatermain and She, was no stranger to the continent where his bestsellers were set. He lived in southern Africa from 1875 to 1881, a period that witnessed Britain’s attempted confederation of the sub-continent, the Anglo- Zulu War of 1879, and the final subjugation of its indigenous peoples. In this new biography, the South African aspect of Haggard’s life is explored in hitherto unrecorded detail. The success of King Solomon’s Mines saw him relinquish a legal career to write full-time; he also became a respected agricultural expert and social commentator, receiving a knighthood for his public service.

Haggard wrote over seventy books, fiction and non-fiction. His African adventure stories feature strong black characters, and the majority of his novels assertive female ones, not least She. Haggard’s unwitting expression of the Victorian sub-conscious attracted the interest of both Freud and Jung. Haunted by a lost love, the tragic death of his only son and frequent bouts of depression, he endlessly probed the conundrums of life and death.

Containing much new material, this biography explores Haggard’s personal and public life to resurrect the writer whom Graham Greene, an admirer, called ‘the buried man’.


Stephen Coan is a newspaper editor; a theatre and film writer-director; author of poetry collection Chant of the Doves; and editor of two volumes of previously unpublished work by H. Rider Haggard: Diary of An African Journey (1914) and (with Alfred Tella) Mameena and Other Plays. He lives in Johannesburg.

Request an academic inspection copy Request a press review copy
Inspection Copy Request
Review Copy Request
Join our mailing list

Subscribers receive exclusive discounts and early access to new books from Hurst.