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THE BOOKMAN

LIFE OF RIDER HAGGARD

"THE DAYS OF MY LIFE."

(By Sir H. Rider Haggard.)

'A rumour led to "this extremely inter- esting autobiography. Jn 1010 Sir Rider Haggard's sccietary received an,inquiry by telephone from a London newsugoncy as to'whotlier nfc was dead, lhere being a persistent report in London that this wasTthc case. The secretary replied 'that Sir R'.dor was out walking "in an aver agç state of health," but the incident made a-deep impression on the author, who forthwith began to write "'the .-loi y of htsMlfe, which he completed in 3 912

|and placed in the hands of his* publishers fijr release on his death,'which occuncd

last year, * . - .. ,

The lîook linn episodes as exciting os

any in "King Solomon's Mines" or "She." | iitire is 'a btory ol' the execution'of a|

ICafllr vchie,f of high Wood who was íe sponslblo'for ,the killing of a Mr. Bell so as to avoid the payment of taxen:

'I cannot recall lils name. Hcywas a [ most*dignified and gentleman -like per- son. 'At the execution the interprete! asked him if ho had anything to sav be-

fore *'ho died. Ho began to repeat his I version Mbf the affair, with which we were ""already acquainted, and on being stopped, remarked, T have spoken; I am

ready.' The hangman and the sheriff | were both .unmistakably drunk, stood I hyland 1 had to stand,over.the execu-

tioner, ito, see he, performed the last sud |

offices in a fitting manner. Thus died this-'brave Swazi-.gentleman."

Of his books and his travels in many lands, the author writes^ vh/idly:

"While \?e were at Nprwood a Wie

incident occurred ,which resulted in my becoming'a writer of Action. ,At the church which myN wife and I attended we saw siloing near us one Sunday a sin- gularly; beautiful ¿and pure-faced young lady. Afterwards we agreed that this .semi-divine creature-on whom to the best of my knowledge,I have never prt eyes again from that day, to this-ought to become the heroine of a novel. So

then'and there wo took paper-.and each of us began to write'tho said novel. I think that .after she had completed two or three folio sheets _ my 'wife ceased

from her fictional labours. > ? But, grow- ing interested, I'continued''mine, which resulted in the story-called -Dawn! '.

Successful'as1' his1 careor"was, Sir Rider often regretted'his Incursion into Action, as he found that it impededMiis SU<JC<\SS as'a lawyer, people apparently not put- ting thoir trust in one .whose imagina- tion was so highly devoloped. "King Solomon's Mines'' 'ho wrote in six weeks and very, nearly sold outright for £100,

being' saved by the warning of -, a jiub llslier's clerk._ ^ \ ^

The author's life'was'a .crowded one. His work on "Rural England," and on various Government missions he valued

moro than the popular'works which won him fame. This autobiography shows him as one who always tried to do good. It is pleasantly free from the, malice and i uncharilableness which have character-

ised not a few works of a simitar kind, and it can only mci case the admiration of tho.se who know his'book's.

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