Allan Quartermaine Wiki

" the end you begin to accept it all... you watch things hunting and being hunted, reproducing, killing and dying, it's all endless and pointless, except in the end one small pattern emerges from it all, the only certainty: one is born, one lives for a time then one dies, that is all... "

-Allan Quatermain giving telling his sordid philosophy of life to future first wife Elizabeth Curtis in his first film appearence and adaption of King Solomon's Mines Allan Quatermain and or the The Great White Hunter was a former guide, hunter, occasional Southern Africa Trader and archeologist hobbiest.

Allan Quatermain
Gender Male
Birth March 20th 1805
Death August 1899
Nationality British


Professional Hunter, Occasional Trader, Supporting Soldier. Part-Time Archeologist


Jesse Huston (Late Wife) Harrison Quatermaine (Late Son) Ayesha (Late Wife)

He is the main protagonist of H. Rider Haggard's 1885 novel King Solomon's Mines and it's various prequels and sequels.

He has discovered a great many things on his many famed adventures constantly told to willing lads all over the world.

He discovered alongside the Royal Navy and Elizabeth Curtis the mythological King Solomon's Mines, as well as El Dorado The Lost City Of Gold and the fabled Temple Of Skulls of Akator.

He has been married twice of which in the end both his wives died of unconfirmed causes and were buried by him.

He was through the course of his adventures blessed by a witch doctor who vowed that Africa would never allow him to die.

He has one son acting as his only child who died and abruptly ended his adventures.

He fakes his death in 1897 so as to retire in his home of Kenya, Africa but as of 1899 was recruited by the Majesty's Secret Service to be assembled in a collective of unnatural powerful indivuals collectively known as The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

He was killed by a knife impalement from English Professor and enemy criminal Professor James Moriaty who fatally landed the knife in his side at the Kazahzstan Abandoned Carbonek Laboratory.

He was buried in the side road cemetary near the destroyed Quatermain Pub in Kenya, Africa in 1899.


The character Quatermain (not "Quartermain", a common error) is an English-born professional big game hunter and occasional trader in southern Africa. He supports colonial efforts to spread civilization in the Dark Continent, and he also favours native Africans' having a say in their affairs. Quatermain is an imperial outdoorsman who finds English cities and climate unbearable. He prefers to spend most of his life in Africa, where he grew up under the care of his widower father, a Christian missionary. In the earliest-written novels, native Africans refer to Quatermain as Macumazahn, meaning "Watcher-by-Night," a reference to his nocturnal habits and keen instincts. In later-written novels, Macumazahn is said to be a short form ofMacumazana, meaning "One who stands out." Quatermain is frequently accompanied by his native servant, the Hottentot Hans, a wise and caring family retainer from his youth. His sarcastic comments offer a sharp critique of European conventions. In his final adventures, Quatermain is joined by two British companions, Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good of the Royal Navy, and by his African friend Umslopogaas.

Appearance and character[]

Quatermain is old, small, wiry, and unattractive, with a beard and short hair that sticks up. His one skill is his marksmanship, where he has no equal. Quatermain is aware that as a professional hunter, he has helped to destroy his beloved wild free places of Africa. In old age he hunts without pleasure, having no other means of making a living.

About Quatermain's family, little is written. He lives at Durban, in Natal, South Africa. He marries twice, but is quickly widowed both times. He entrusts the printing of memoirs in the series to his son Harry, whose death he mourns in the opening of the novel Allan Quatermain. Harry Quatermain is a medical student who dies of smallpox while working in a hospital. As Haggard did not write the Quatermain novels in chronological order, he made errors with some details. Quatermain's birth, age at the time of his marriages, and age at the time of his death cannot be reconciled to the apparent date of Harry's birth and age at death.


Although some of Haggard's Quatermain novels stand alone, there are two important series. In the Zulu trilogy, Marie (1912), Child of Storm (1913) and Finished (1917), Quatermain becomes ensnared in the vengeance of Zikali, the dwarf wizard known as "The-thing-that-should-never-have-been-born" and "Opener-of-Roads." Zikali plots and finally achieves the overthrow of the Zulu royal House of Senzangakona, founded by Shaka and ending under Cetewayo (Cetshwayo kaMpande) (Haggard's questionable spelling of Zulu names is used in the first instance).

These novels are prequels to the foundation pair, King Solomon's Mines (1885) and Allan Quatermain (1887), which describe Quatermain's discovery of vast wealth, his discontent with a life of ease, and his fatal return to Africa following the death of his son Harry.

Allan Quatermain (1887)[]

At the beginning, Quatermain has lost his only son and longs to get back into the wilderness. Having persuaded Sir Henry Curtis, Captain John Good, and the Zulu chief Umslopogas to accompany him, they set out from the coast of east Africa into the territory of the Masai. While staying with a Scottish missionary, they are attacked by a Masai group, whom they overcome with heroism. They travel by canoe along an underground river to a lake in the kingdom of Zu-Vendis beyond a range of mountains. The Zu-Vendi are a warlike white race isolated from other African races. At the time of the British party's arrival, they are ruled jointly by two sisters, Nyleptha and Sorais. The priests of the Zu-Vendi religion are hostile to the explorers, but the queens protect them.

Both sisters fall passionately in love with Curtis; together with Nyleptha's rejection of the nobleman Nasta, a civil war breaks out. (Sorais and Nasta's forces fight against those of Nyleptha, Curtis and Quatermain). After a battle in which Queen Nyleptha's forces are outnumbered, she is victorious but threatened by the treachery of the priests, who plan to murder her in the palace. Umslopogaas and one loyal warrior manage to save her, while killing Nasta and the chief priest Agon. Defeated and jealous, Sorais takes her own life. Nyleptha and Curtis become queen and king, and Quatermain dies from a wound suffered in the battle.

Chronological sequence of Haggard's Quatermain stories[]

Dates of events in Allan Quatermain's life are shown on the left; dates of publication in book form are shown on the right.[1]


[1]Allan Quatermain (centre) follows his men carrying a large quantity of ivory, inMaiwa's Revenge: or, The War of the Little Hand (1888) - drawing by Thure de Thulstrup

1817: Birth of Allan Quatermain

  • 1835–1838: Marie (1912)
  • 1842–1843: "Allan's Wife", title story in the collection Allan's Wife (1887)
  • 1854–1856: Child of Storm (1913)
  • 1858: "A Tale of Three Lions", included in the collection Allan's Wife (1887)
  • 1859: Maiwa's Revenge: or, The War of the Little Hand (1888)
  • 1868: "Hunter Quatermain's Story", included in the collection Allan's Wife (1887)
  • 1869: "Long Odds", included in the collection Allan's Wife (1887)
  • 1870: The Holy Flower (1915)
  • 1871: Heu-heu: or, The Monster (1924)
  • 1872: She and Allan (1920)
  • 1873: The Treasure of the Lake (1926)
  • 1874: The Ivory Child (1916)
  • 1879: Finished (1917)
  • 1879: "Magepa the Buck", included in the collection Smith and the Pharaohs (1920)
  • 1880: King Solomon's Mines (1885)
  • 1882: The Ancient Allan (1920)
  • 1883: Allan and the Ice-gods (1927)
  • 1884–1885: Allan Quatermain (1887)

c. 18 June 1885: Death of Allan Quatermain

Use of Quatermain in other works[]

The Allan Quatermain character has been expanded greatly by modern writers; this use is possibly due to Haggard's works passing into the public domain, much like Sherlock Holmes.

Quatermain in the works of Farmer, Power and Castelli[]

Quatermain was placed by the science fiction writer Philip José Farmer as a member of the Wold Newton family. In the anthology Myths for the Modern Age: Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe, contributor Brad Mengel noted speculation that Quatermain had had a daughter who married a relation of Sherlock Holmes, and that Indiana Jones's father was the product of this relationship.[citation needed]

In his unpublished story, "The Judex Codex", the writer Dennis E. Power says that Quatermain had a daughter by Ayesha; this reconciles Quatermain's family tree with the Allan Quatermain comic book series created by Alfredo Castelli.[citation needed] (Castelli later moved the characters into the Martin Mystère series; Power's theories allowed Mystère and Allan Quatermain II to be identical first cousins without compromising any of the extant continuities).

In the Haggard canon, Harry Quatermain is an only child. After the younger Quatermain's death, his father laments that he is an old man "without a chick or child to comfort me." But, the expansion of Allan Quatermain's lineage by Castelli, Mengel, and Power, and of his longevity by Alan Moore, as noted below, were studiously researched.

Rick Lai noted in his essay, "The Mystery of Harry Quatermain and Other Conundrums", several discrepancies throughout the Haggard series regarding Quatermain's wives. Lai suggested that Allan's son Harry was born far too early to be the young man who died before the opening of Allan Quatermain. Using Haggard's time line, he suggests that Harry, son of Allan and Stella Quatermain, fathered a son, also named Harry, whom Allan Quatermain raised as his own.

Though Philip José Farmer did add Quatermain to his Wold Newton family, he did not write any theories regarding Allan's offspring. Farmer authorized Mengel's essay, and he has encouraged the above-mentioned authors who have borrowed and played with his work.[citation needed]

Quatermain in the works of Moore and Miller[]

The character was used by writer Alan Moore and artist Kevin O'Neill in their series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, based on the premise that he faked his death to enjoy a quiet retirement, which was adapted to film in 2003.

In 2005, the first true full literary continuation of Allan Quatermain (as opposed to both graphic novels and various insertions into alternate universes) was published by Wildside Press and is titled The Great Detective at the Crucible of Life; Or, The Adventure of the Rose of Fire by Thos. Kent Miller. In 2011, this novel was significantly expanded with the revised title Allan Quatermain at the Crucible of Life. Both novels add chapters to the lives of both Quatermain and Sherlock Holmes. They are constructed as a Quatermain memoir and African adventure, in the manner that Haggard told all the Quatermain tales. Miller is also the author of Sherlock Holmes on the Roof of the World; Or, The Adventure of the Wayfaring God, a pastiche of H. Rider Haggard's She.

Film and television incarnations[]

The character of Allan Quatermain has been portrayed in film and television by Richard Chamberlain, John Colicos, Sean Connery, Cedric Hardwicke, and Patrick Swayze. Stewart Granger also played Quatermain in the 1950 Hollywood film adaptation of King Solomon's Mines, which was directed by Compton Bennett. None of the above works portray Haggard's Quatermain accurately in age, appearance, or character. Some even give his name erroneously as "Quartermain." Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold is a film released in 1987 which is freely adapted from the plot of Haggard's 1887 novel. He was also featured in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, released in 2003, where he served as the team leader and a mentor and father-figure to American secret agent Tom Sawyer, and the 2008 direct-to-DVD Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls. In 2010, it was announced that Sam Worthington would portray the character in an upcoming sci-fi adaptation of King Solomon's Mines.[2]


The real-life adventures of Frederick Courtney Selous, the famous British big game hunter and explorer of Colonial Africa, inspired Haggard to create the Allan Quatermain character. Haggard was also heavily influenced by other larger-than-life adventurers he later met in Africa, most notably the American Scout Frederick Russell Burnham, by South Africa's vast mineral wealth, and by the ruin of ancient lost civilizations being uncovered in Africa, such as Great Zimbabwe. The similarities between Haggard's close friend Burnham and his Quatermain character are striking: both small and wiry Victorian adventurers in colonial Africa, both sought and discovered ancient treasures and civilizations, both battled large wild animals and native peoples, both were renowned for their ability to track, even at night, and both men had similar nicknames: Quatermain, "Watcher-by-Night"; Burnham, "He-who-sees-in-the-dark".[3][4][5]

The beliefs and views of the fictional Quatermain are those of Haggard himself, and beliefs that were common among the 19th-century European colonists. These include conventionalVictorian ideas concerning the superiority of the white race; an admiration for "warrior races," such as the Zulu; a disdain for natives corrupted by white influences; and a general contempt for Afrikaners (Boers). But in other ways Haggard's views were advanced for his times. The first chapter of King Solomon's Mines contains an express denunciation of the use of the pejorative term "nigger." Quatermain frequently encounters natives who are more brave and wise than Europeans, and even women (black and white) who are smarter and emotionally stronger than men (though not necessarily as good; cf. the title character of "She"). Through the Quatermain novels and his other works, Haggard also expresses his own mysticism and interest in non-Christian concepts, particularly karma and reincarnation, though he expresses these concepts in such a way as to be compatible with the Christian faith.[4][5]


H. Rider Haggard's Quatermain, adventure hero of King Solomon's Mines and sequel Allan Quatermain, was a template for the American film character Indiana Jones, featured in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[6][7][8]

The route to King Solomon's Mines described by Haggard in the novel of the same name was also referenced in the movie The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines; specifically, the reference to Sheba's Breasts and Three Witches Mountain, which are geographical features mentioned by Quatermain in the novel.


Books written by H. Rider Haggard[]

  1. King Solomon's Mines (1885)
  2. Allan Quatermain (1887)
  3. Allan's Wife (1887)
    1. "Allan's Wife"
    2. "Hunter Quatermain's Story"
    3. "A Tale of Three Lions"
    4. "Long Odds"
  4. Maiwa's Revenge: or, The War of the Little Hand (1888)
  5. Marie (1912)
  6. Child of Storm (1913)
  7. The Holy Flower (1915) (first serialised in the Windsor Magazine December 1913-November 1914)
  8. The Ivory Child (1916)
  9. Finished (1917)
  10. The Ancient Allan (1920)
  11. She and Allan (1920)
  12. Heu-heu: or, The Monster (1924)
  13. The Treasure of the Lake (1926)
  14. Allan and the Ice-gods (1927)
  15. Hunter Quatermain's Story: The Uncollected Adventures of Allan Quatermain (collection, 2003)
    1. "Hunter Quatermain's Story" (first published in In a Good Cause, 1885)
    2. "Long Odds" (first published in Macmillan's Magazine February 1886)
    3. "A Tale of Three Lions" (first serialized in Atalanta Magazine, October–December 1887)
    4. "Magepa the Buck" (first published in Pears' Annual, 1912)

Books written by Alan Moore

  1. "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume I"
  2. "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II"
  3. "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier"
  4. "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume III: Century"

Books written by Thos. Kent Miller[]

  1. "The Great Detective at the Crucible of Life; Or, The Adventure of the Rose of Fire" 2005
  2. "Allan Quatermain at the Crucible of Life" 2011

In popular culture[]


  1. ^ From J. E. Scott, "A Note Concerning the Late Mr Allan Quatermain", in A Bibliography of the Works of Sir Henry Haggard 1856–1925, London: Elkin Mathews Ltd, 1947.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Hough, Harold (January 2010). "The Arizona Miner and Indiana Jones". Miner News.
  4. ^ a b Mandiringana, E.; T. J. Stapleton (1998). "The Literary Legacy of Frederick Courteney Selous". History in Africa (African Studies Association) 25: 199–218. doi:10.2307/3172188.JSTOR 3172188.
  5. ^ a b Pearson, Edmund Lester. "Theodore Roosevelt, Chapter XI: The Lion Hunter". Humanities Web. Retrieved 2006-12-18.
  6. ^ "The entire Indiana Jones franchise – films, television's Young Indiana Jones, books, games, comics, merchandise, Disneyland adventure-ride, & Indy imitations such as Romancing the Stone – owes everything to H. Rider Haggard as filtered through lowbudget film serials (themselves frequently inspired by Haggard). Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones as a hyperactive American version of Allan Quatermain"
  7. ^ The Republic Serials were most strongly influenced by Sir Henry Rider Haggard's "white man explores savage Africa" stories, in particular King Solomon's Mines (1886)
  8. ^ "Based on a 1885 novel by Henry Rider Haggard, the exploits of Alan Quartermain have long served as a template for the Indiana Jones character. In this particular film, King Solomon's Mines (1950), Quartermain finds himself unwillingly thrust into a worldwide search for the legendary mines of King Solomon. The look and feel of Indiana and his past adventures are quite apparent here, and his new quest follows some very similar through lines. Like Quartermain, Jones is reluctantly forced into helping the Russians find the Lost Temple of Akator and the Crystal Skulls mentioned in the film's title. Both Quartermain and Jones are confronted by angry villagers and a myriad of dangerous booby traps. Look to King Solomon's Mines for a good idea on the feel and tone Lucas and Spielberg are after with their latest Indiana Jones outing".

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