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Haggard’s Use of the Phoenician Analogy with Britain

L’analogie entre la Phénicie et la Grande Bretagne selon Haggard
John Coates


Durant la période victorienne et édouardienne, plusieurs auteurs ont fait part de leurs appréhensions concernant l’état de l’empire britannique et les dangers auxquels il faisait face en comparant la Grande-Bretagne avec la cité phénicienne de Tyre et la plus grande de ses colonies, Carthage. Cet article compare la façon dont Rider Haggard utilise cette analogie dans son roman Elissa or the Doom of Zimbabwe à celle d’autres écrivains qui ont également comparé la Grande-Bretagne et les Phéniciens. Haggard apparaît comme plus profond, plus ambitieux et sophistiqué dans son usage de l’analogie phénicienne que d’autres auteurs.

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  • 1 Rudyard Kipling, ‘Recessional’, 1897, rpt. Rudyard Kipling, Selected Poems. Ed. Andrew Lycett. Lond (...)

Far- called our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire;
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre

  • 2 Julian Amery, The Life of Joseph Chamberlain. London: Macmillan, 1951. Vol. 4. 421.
  • 3 Hilaire Belloc, This And That and the Other. New York: Dodd Mead and Company, 1912. 327−34.

1These lines from ‘Recessional’ recall instances in the later Victorian and Edwardian literature when commentators voiced apprehensions about the state of the British Empire and the dangers they thought it faced, by making comparisons between it and the Phoenician city of Tyre or the greatest of Tyre’s colonies, Carthage. Where the mention of Nineveh evokes the grandiose cruelties of a Middle Eastern land power, Tyre, whose widespread outposts were held together by its naval forces, is more apposite to Kipling’s purpose. ‘Our navies’ may be melting away because of the dispersal of the British fleet after the great review at Spit head to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. However, the lines have another meaning which would have struck contemporaries. Many of them would have shared the fears voiced by Joseph Chamberlain,2 whom Kipling admired, that the resources of the Empire were overstretched and that its ‘far called powers’ were inadequate to the tasks required of them. Kipling’s readers and Chamberlain’s audience may also have shared the politician’s view that it was time the children of the new Tyre came to the aid of their exhausted mother. In the years following Kipling’s likening of the British Empire to the far-flung outstretched Phoenician dominion, other writers took up the comparison from other angles and with different emphases. In 1912 Hilaire Belloc drew analogies between Britain and Carthage immediately before the second Punic War.3 In the ‘Merry Rome’ of ‘The Weekly Carthaginian register’ the Carthaginians are smug and patronising about their quaint amusing, upstart rivals. Where the Romans recognise talent and social open barriers which might impede it, the Carthaginians are content with an officer class which although not so numerous is ‘always urbane’. They feel also that their ‘golden Legion’ is far superior to Rome’s mass conscript armies and that the stolid pursuit by their elite of commercial success surpasses anything their more energetic rivals can show. At the same time, they rewrite history to avoid learning the lessons it might teach them. Carthage had lost Sicily to the Romans and been forced to pay them an indemnity. In the ‘Merry Rome column’, Rome has been paid to take over the ‘difficult administration of the lost Province. Belloc’s analogy between Carthage and Rome on the one hand and Britain and the rising German Empire on the other, is intended to disturb. Like the far-flung Punic dominion, modern Britain is ill-equipped to deal with a vigorous rival and unburdened by its narrow commercial preoccupations and its unimaginative elite.

  • 4 Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Last Galley’, Tales of Long Ago, 1911. rpt. The Conan Doyle Stories. Londo (...)

2In ‘The Last Galley’, published a year before Belloc’s piece, Conan Doyle made an even more pointed comparison between his own countrymen and ancient imperialists of Phoenician stock.4 The story’s epigraph is explicit: ‘Mutato nomine, de te Britannia, fabula narratur’. Conan Doyle adds the word ‘Britannia’ to this quotation from Horace’s Satires and removes Horace’s opening words ‘Cur rides?’ [‘Why do you laugh?’] which his classically educated readers would have recalled. Why are they amused since it is the story of their own country they are hearing?

3An impotent Carthage waits for Rome to close in. On the deck of a last badly damaged galley creeping back to port, Gisgo, the politician, a ‘man of the highest Punic blood’ tells the ship’s captain Mago of his vain attempts to rouse public spirit amid the selfishness and slothfulness of his fellow countrymen. Thinking only of trade and profits from the state’, this ‘vain and foolish generation’ has succumbed to a canker which ‘leads us to our death’. Ever ‘living in the past and blind to the future’ the Punic governing class ignore repeated warnings about Rome’s mass conscript army whose members bear arms out of ‘duty and pride’. The Phoenicians of Carthage prefer to ‘hide behind mercenaries and the shelter of a fleet which for a while makes ‘the rulers of the sea’. Conan Doyle sees an exact parallel between the great Phoenician city, sunk in apathy and living on past glories and Edwardian England ignoring the German challenge and the need for conscription.

4It is interesting to turn from Belloc’s and Conan Doyle’s use of the Phoenician parallel with Britain to Rider Haggard’s use of this analogy in Elissa or the Doom of Zimbabwe, published in Black Heart and White Heart and Other Stories (1900). Above all, it is the far greater complexity of Haggard’s analysis and of the points he makes which are striking.

5Although he mentions them, the sloth and military unpreparedness of the Phoenicians of Zimbabwe are only two, and not the most important of the traits in its culture and society which bring about its ‘doom’.

  • 5 H. Rider Haggard, Elissa or The Doom of Zimbabwe. 1900. Rpt. New York Xlibris Corporation: The Esse (...)

6Inevitably modern readers will be struck by the offensive nature of the whole premise of Haggard’s novel, the racist assumption on which the tale rests. Haggard takes it as an obvious fact that the impressive ruins of Zimbabwe are not those of a great city built by Africans but must have been the remains of a Phoenician colony set up ‘by civilised men in the heart of Africa’. Weakened by luxury and the ‘mixture of races’ as well as other more important factors this colony declined until ‘a horde of invading savages stamped it out of existence beneath their bloodstained feet’.5

7Perhaps readers may take as given their reaction to the notion that Africans could not have built Zimbabwe and move on to consider what Haggard has to say about the reasons for his imaginary Phoenician colony’s downfall.

  • 6 H. Rider Haggard, Diary of an African Journey. 1914. London: Hurst and Company, 2001. 62. Subsequen (...)

8Sharing some of the racial assumptions common in his time Haggard displayed other responses to the black inhabitants of Africa which were neither predictable nor all of a piece. He did not attempt what he perceived into a scheme or synthesis. His belief in the superiority of White races, including Phoenicians, coexisted with a belief that Rhodesia was a ‘land under a curse’6 because of the manner in which it had been acquired, adding that the ‘true history of the business could not possibly be printed’. His acceptance of racial hierarchies coexisted with a belief that Bushmen, ‘the lowest of the low who were “shot down by white men as cattle thieves” had art innate in their blood’ (Haggard, 2001a, 78‒79). Above all, whatever he thought of the status of White and Black, Haggard recorded as an undeniable fact that white dominion in Southern Africa could not be sustained ‘Seven million of Black folk could not be permanently neglected [or is oppressed the word?] by one million and a quarter of whites’ (Haggard, 2001a, 230).

9As far as Haggard defined his political beliefs, he made it clear that they were not those of an orthodox Tory party member. After failing to be elected as an M. P. for East Norfolk in 1895, he wrote that ‘Now I understand that I never was a real Tory—that as a party man I am the most miserable failure’.

  • 7 H. Rider Haggard, The Days Of My Life. London: Longmans, 1926. Vol. 2. 106.

10In his view the reasons for his anomalous political position were clear. There was no place in politics for a man like himself who ‘has the most earnest sympathies with the poor and who desires to advance their cause in any reasonable way but who rejects the Radical method of attempting to set class against class’. Refusing the life of a businessman in the city since ‘it was all too speculative for me,’ he fought hard for years in support of breaking up large estates into small holdings. This he contended was essential to improve the state of English agriculture where insecurity and poor wages ‘were even more appalling than he had imagined’.7

  • 8 John D. Coates, ‘The Spiritual Quest in Rider Haggard’s She and Ayesha’, Cahiers Victoriens et Edou (...)
  • 9 Daniel Karlin, She. Oxford: OUP, 2008. 193.

11It is not easy to characterise Haggard’s political views neatly. They included contradictory perceptions which he did not try to deny. He recorded what he saw, leaving contradictions unresolved. In his writing this often led to dialogue between conflicting positions. Doubtful of what he saw as the mixing of races (‘the black man is driving a wedge into the fabric of European civilisation’), at the same time he recognised ‘the effects of moral pressure exercised by a sullen, discontented multitude, robbed of their inheritance’ (Haggard 2001a, 230). There are obvious problems in seeing Haggard as the naïve spokesman of imperialism or patriarchal attitudes. To see him in this way gains apparent force and clarity by ignoring the diverse and contradictory signals in Haggard’s writing. As I have suggested elsewhere,8 we should see Haggard as altogether more unpredictable, one whose sexual attitudes, for example, would have been thought liberal even unconventional, until quite recently. Daniel Karlin’s Introduction to the World’s Classics She9 should alert us to the effect of Haggard’s juxtaposition of different attitudes in She, Ayesha and elsewhere in Haggard’s novels. Karlin explores the effects of humour and bathos in She and the complex, often ambivalent presentation of Leo and Ayesha in the novel by the narrator Holly. Karlin’s presentation of Haggard as a writer far more sophisticated, self-conscious and purposeful, than the picture of him in previous received opinion is a useful preliminary to examining Elissa or the Doom of Zimbabwe.

  • 10 C. S. Lewis, ‘The Mythopoeic Gift of Rider Haggard’. 1960. Rpt. C. S. Lewis, Of This And Other Worl (...)

12Such a view of Haggard is especially useful in considering the religious issues with which Elissa concerns itself and which are a major cause of the downfall of the Phoenician Zimbabwe. Even Haggard’s defenders, such as Morton Cohen and C. S. Lewis, dismiss his religious interests as incoherent, sentimental and amateurish. Haggard’s groping into Egyptian and Nordic antiquity and his toying with spiritualism were the mark of a ‘commonplace intelligence hampered by outfit of vaguely Christian or Theosophical notions’.10

  • 11 John Coates, The Spiritual Quest. 33‒54.

13Such an unwillingness to discuss Haggard’s religious interests in their own terms is regrettable. We may miss a better understanding of what those interests suggested about his own contemporary culture and an insight into Haggard’s attitude to ancient religious beliefs which had been revived in his day. Both She and Ayesha may be more fully understood when the serious religious dimension of these novels is accepted. Their details become easier to understand when related to Theosophist and occultist teachings current in the 1890s and which touched Haggard through his own disturbing personal experience. The teachings of Madame Blavatsky were the main source of a new interest in reincarnation and a new variant of the Faustian quest for immortality through a ‘lost wisdom’ discovered by archaeology. Haggard’s novels display both his interest in and misgivings about these recent cultural developments.11

14In Elissa, there is no religious figure, mage or charlatan like Madame Blavatsky lurking behind the text. However, the factors which lead to the doom of Phoenician Zimbabwe are analogous to late Victorian religious teachings which like those of Madame Blavatsky, which as I have suggested Haggard wished to examine and to criticise.

15Relatively short as Elissa is, it presents a far more complex Phoenician culture than those suggested by Belloc or Conan Doyle. Haggard’s novel does not concern itself with the naval or military apprehensions which troubled many in Britain in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Haggard’s Phoenicians are not the real coastal traders of antiquity but like the White Rhodesians whose conduct and future troubled Haggard, settlers in the African interior, far from the sea. Haggard’s deliberate departure from the historical record suggests his different purpose.

16Haggard’s Phoenician Zimbabwe is a city

Of flat-roofed houses enclosed within a double wall, without the ring of which were thousands of straw huts, shaped like bee-hives, wherein dwelt natives of the country, slaves or servants of the occupying Phoenician race. Between towers armed soldiers walked continually watching the city below and the plains beyond, for though the mission of the Phoenicians here was one of peaceful gain, it was evident they considered necessary to be always prepared for war’. (Haggard 2001b, 52)

17They fear a rebellion by the African people they have subjected. This description recalls scenes of oppression and exploitation of the native population Haggard noted elsewhere. In the native compound outside Kimberley mine, for example, he mentioned how ‘numberless Kaffirs for six months at a time [are] in a state of strict imprisonment . . . They cannot set foot outside the walls, or rather outside the wire fences that ring the mines’. Like Phoenician Zimbabwe, Johannesburg was a ‘huge, tumultuous city’ which was ‘more evil and menacing than most’ whose prosperity was built on exploitation: ‘The labour population is very turbulent which is scarcely to be wondered at’ (Haggard 2001a, 133).

18In Elissa, as in Haggard’s journals and diaries, the native population which surrounds the white settlements (and the Phoenicians in the novel are referred to as ‘white’) is both an object of fear and a focus of guilt. The black men are ‘savages, naked except for their girdles and armed with huge spears, who gazed with bewilderment on the wonders of this mart of the white men’ (Haggard 2001b, 53). However, these ‘huge and savage men’ have their own story to tell. In threatening vengeance against the alien intruders, their king Ithobal declares that ‘For many years, I and the countless tribes whom I rule have suffered at the hands of you Phoenicians, who centuries ago settled here in my country as traders’ (Haggard 2001b, 75).

19The native peoples had been content that the intruders should trade but not that they should ‘establish themselves as a sovereign power’. If they wish to avoid being wiped out they must ‘cease to enslave the natives of the land to labour in [their] service’. The blacks’ understandable anger here echoes Haggard’s acceptance of an opinion expressed by one of the acquaintances made on his journey, Mr. Merriman. This individual ‘one of the most remarkable men in South Africa’ was not Radical enough in his conclusions for Haggard who saw him as too moderate. ‘His mind is essentially of the crossbencher order’. However, Haggard approved of Merriman’s view of Rhodesia’s unjust origin and the ‘curse’ under which it lay as well as his condemnation of the mining magnates as ‘unprincipled selfish and cruel in their dealings with all, even the natives they employ’ (Haggard 2001b, 61).

20They are ‘worshippers of Mammon of the worst sort with the usual attributes’ (Haggard 2001b, 61). At the same time, Haggard treats black men crudely in Elissa as a sexual danger to white women. The story appeared as part of a collection in which romantic and sexual concerns figure largely. The title story of Black Heart and White Heart offers a sympathetic account of the ‘courtship, trials and final union of a pair of Zulu lovers’ (12). However, in Elissa, rather than marry the savage Ithobal as her father wishes her to do in order to gain peace for Zimbabwe, the heroine would rather ‘go to her grave’ (71). These unreconstructed fears of ‘race mixing’ coexist with other reactions, expressed outside Elissa, and colouring parts of its narrative. In Haggard’s opinion, there was no unbridgeable gulf between black and white people. The best of the blacks are ‘quite equal to the average white’. The ‘absorption’ of the smaller white population by the blacks is inevitable. Curiously these temperate and pragmatic conclusions coexist in Haggard’s with fears of the ‘black peril’ to individual white women walking through the land. They might once have been safe, however, and still are in the ‘more unsophisticated parts of Zululand’. What Haggard suggests here is less an innate black lustfulness but, rather, a cultural interaction involving the misreading of codes and manners by some white women.

21Haggard refuses to force his conflicting perceptions into a synthesis. Ithobal and his hordes are barbarians as well as sufferers from colonial exploitation. The black ruler is a sexual threat to white women and a great king who offers peace to her city out of genuine love for her.

22The downfall of Zimbabwe is brought about by other factors within its Phoenician (or ‘white’ elite). These add a further dimension to the parallels Haggard draws between the African colony and his own contemporary world. It is worth noting that a third tale in Black Heart and White Heart ‘The Wizard’ ‘was a story of victorious Faith’.

23The culture of Haggard’s Zimbabwe is a divided one whose contradictions lie mainly within the religious sphere. Religious divisions in the novel occupy a greater role in it than commerce, financial transactions or sharp practice. Described as traders Haggard’s Phoenicians are more interested in disputes about religion than in money-making. The novel’s chief money-maker is shown as a coarse materialist but, also, as a comic figure. For Metem ‘money gives everything for which men strive, honour and place and comfort’ (Haggard 2001b, 20). To the Jewish Prince Aziel’s assertion that it ‘cannot give you love’, Metem replies contemptuously, that with gold, one can buy slaves and free women who desire ornaments and ease’ (Haggard 2001b, 20). For Metem, Aziel’s objection that ‘money cannot bring you the blessing of heaven nor the welfare of your spirit in the eternal life that is to come’ (Haggard 2001b, 21) is meaningless. For him, ‘when I die, I die and there is an end’. However, this ridiculous figure, gloating over his sharp practice and petty gains’ has another more sinister side. He believes that in this, the only life, there are cosmic forces that may be propitiated. He has offered his own son (‘my fortune was at stake’) as a human sacrifice ‘passing “through the fire” to Baal-Sidon’.

24Haggard develops the theme of human sacrifice offered by the Phoenician worshippers of Baal in the Old Testament and gives it a different emphasis. Elijah and others had encountered in the devotees of Baal the cult of a false god. The Phoenicians in Elissa share with Flaubert’s Carthaginians in Salammbô a ‘love of horrible spectacles’. However the religion Haggard portrays is more complex than the demon worship Elijah encountered or Flaubert evoked.

25For Haggard’s Phoenicians, their religion has two aspects, both of which involve the worship of Nature ‘in various disguises’ (Haggard 2001b, 54). Fertility whether in ‘crops or in sexual reproduction was the real object of the worship of these people’ (Haggard 2001b, 54). Their religion had had a materialist and a spiritual side to it. It directed spiritual devotion to ‘the far off Divinity, symbolised by the moon and the planets, and visible only in their majestic movements and in the forces of nature’. To this ‘Elissa clung, knowing no truer god, and from these she strove to wring their secret, for her heart was deep’ (Haggard 2001b, 68).

  • 12 Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard, His Life and Work. London: Macmillan, 1968. 247.

26This concern with the majestic forces of Nature, analogous to the feelings which fuelled much nineteenth-century scientific research coexists with the worship and propitiation of the forces that bring wealth and which Haggard records elsewhere in his novel. For most of Haggard’s Phoenicians, the spiritual side of their religion curbs neither their lust for wealth and power nor the exploitation in which they engage. Haggard’s own concern with religion had a practical side which should modify the way in which his beliefs should be viewed. His study of the work of the Salvation Army Regeneration (1910) is ‘one of those books which record for us the social awakening in England and Africa in the early years of the century; indeed it may have helped that awakening to come about’.12

27Regeneration records Haggard’s distress at the complacency and ‘weak go to the wall’ attitudes of his contemporaries in spite of ‘the destitution, illness, depravity, and spiritual despair among many English people’. The title of Haggard’s work may well have suggested to contemporaries that it was an answer to the malaise both emotional and spiritual that Max Nordau had detected in the famous Degeneration. Both Nordau and Haggard perceived a deep sickness in the society of their time. Among other features, this involved a demand for instant gratification, sensationalism, and moral deliquescence. For Nordau, as for Haggard, these phenomena resulted from urbanisation, and a loss of traditional moral norms. Like Rural England, his other major work of social analysis, Regeneration examines the physical problems of poverty and squalor but also shows the loss of self-respect among the poor and the cult of materialist exploitation among those who trade on their weakness. With their worship of power, money and sexuality, the Phoenicians in Elissa recall features Nordau had singled out in what he saw as the corrupt aesthetics of his time. In this connection it is worth noting that Phoenician Zimbabwe is not shown as a backward or primitive place, in the grip of rudimentary superstitions. It is a wealthy and polished urban centre, open to trade and flooded with the world’s products Nordau’s connecting of moral and aesthetic degeneration with urbanisation hold good for the Zimbabwe Haggard portrays. His description of their religious ceremonies recalls parallels, touched on by Nordau, in the writings of Wilde or Huysmans:

The black hair of this woman was adorned with a coronet of scarlet flowers and hung loose about her; her feet were naked and in each hand she held a knife of bronze. Very slowly she began to dance, her painted lips parted as though to speak and her eyes brightened with pigment turned up to heaven . . . Suddenly the bronze knife in her right hand flashed, and a spot of blood appeared above her right breast. At each stroke the multitude cried ‘Ah’ with one voice and then were silent. (Haggard 2001b, 60–61)

28However, Elissa’s examination of a religious and moral state contains other ingredients. The religious focus of the novel is sharpened by the connection, through trade and politics between the Phoenicians of Zimbabwe and the Israel of King Solomon. The visiting Jewish Prince Azrael, who saves Elissa from rape by a ‘great savage’ (Haggard 2001b, 37) shares the ‘blood of the glorious and wise king, your grandfather, Solomon’. Azrael belongs to a religion which despises and rejects the sensational sexuality of Zimbabwe’s rituals, its fertility cults and worship of power. In order to preserve his monotheistic purity, Azrael has been entrusted to the care of Issachar, the Levite, who is to have ‘charge of his soul and keep it safe’ (Haggard 2001b, 46). Issachar’s duty is to guard the Prince from ‘the whisperings of strange doctrines’ but, most of all from ‘the wiles of strange women who bow the knee to Baal’ (Haggard 2001b, 47).

29A fanatic, Issachar, is pruriently obsessed with the sensational details of the pagan cults he hates. He sees Elissa herself, as an ivory ‘chalice filled with foulness’. Her fellow witches of Baaltis ‘are full of evil gifts and the wisdom given to them by the fiends they serve’ (Haggard 2001b, 48).

30Haggard underlines the continuity between Issachar’s faith and certain manifestations of religion in the later nineteenth century: ‘To this faith indeed we still hold fast’ (Haggard 2001b, 50). Issachar’s religious rhetoric is baleful and hortatory ‘consisting of “warnings and denunciations” in which he tells with no uncertain voice of the consequences of sin and of the punishment of idolatry and of the punishment to come’ (Haggard 2001b, 50).

31Some of Haggard’s comments on the attitudes of Christian missionaries are worth noting in this context. He complained of their impractical rigidity and punitive attitude towards native culture and customs. For example the law of monogamy which they introduced was ‘persistently and universally evaded’ with the result that the ‘open and honest wife’ was turned into a ‘surreptitious concubine and the man into one whose whole life is an acted lie’ (Haggard 2001a, 275). Given such impercipience and intolerance, Christianity ‘must be prepared to see in Mahommedanism a most dangerous and often victorious competitor’ (Haggard 2001a, 271).

32Haggard does not, of course, suggest that Issachar was wrong to reject human sacrifice or that he should have found accommodation with it as Christian missionaries of Haggard’s own time should have done with polygamy. Where Issachar errs is in not recognising the Phoenician religion’s spiritual side to which Elissa directs her aspirations. The ‘outward ceremonies of her faith or the more secret and darker of them, of which in practice she knew little, were already an abomination in her eyes’ (Haggard 2001b, 69). For a long time, her spiritual questionings and yearnings for a higher form of religion are thwarted by Issachar’s attitude towards her. The ‘Levite turned from her with loathing as from a thing unclean’ (Haggard 2001b, 69).

33At the heart of Elissa, the novel portrays two acts of self-sacrifice in which love for another is made to take precedence over the strict rules of religious practice. In order to save Elissa’s life, Azrael offers a pinch of incense to Baal. (It is an act which causes him great anguish.) Elissa goes through a form of marriage to Ithobal in order that Azrael be spared, before killing herself.

34It would be rash to claim outstanding literary qualities for Elissa or to suggest it had a high rank among Haggard’s fiction. However, it does repay examination for other reasons. It throws light on Haggard’s misunderstood and underrated religious beliefs. Shared with other writers of the time, Haggard’s use of a Phoenician parallel for Britain’s trading empire, enables him to go beyond the fears they had expressed into areas like the treatment of Black peoples in Rhodesia and South Africa, the exploitation of poor people in his own country as well as the materialist attitudes which underlay this and which were sometimes expressed in a sensationalist sexuality. The Phoenician analogy also enabled Haggard to touch on a rigidity and intolerance in contemporary Christianity where the letter of the law restricted spirituality.

35An examination of Elissa offers the opportunity to perform one of literary criticism’s most useful tasks; to past works and writers justly without ironing out their contradictions and offering them for straightforward approval or rejection. This short novel shows us a picture of Haggard which is not neat or simple. He is a writer whose racist attitudes, though common at the time, would now rightly be condemned as repellent. At the same time, he was a compassionate social reformer, horrified by the suffering of the poor in England and of black people in Africa. ‘Regeneration’ both physical and spiritual was as much a part of his religion as the ‘occult dabblings’ critics have dismissed. Although sometimes unsophisticated in its expression, it was both coherent and sympathetic and coloured his writings as well as his conduct: ‘The gospels or at any rate the spirit of them, if not the ipsissima verba must be taken as they stand but . . . those who cannot are worthy of all sympathy’ (Haggard 2001a, 250).

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Amery, Julian. The Life of Joseph Chamberlain. London: MacMillan, 1951.

Belloc, Hilaire. This and That and the Other. New York: Dodd Mead and Company, 1912.

Coates, John D. ‘The Spiritual Quest in Rider Haggard’s She and Ayesha’. Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens 57. 2003.

Cohen, Morton. Rider Haggard: His Life and Work. London: MacMillan, 1968.

Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Conan Doyle Stories. London: John Murray, 1951.

Haggard, Henry Rider. The Days of My Life. London: MacMillan, 1926.

Haggard, Henry Rider. Diary of an African Journey 1914. London: Hurst and Company, 2001a.

Haggard, Henry Rider. Elissa or The Doom of Zimbabwe. New York: Ex Libris Corporation, 2001b.

Haggard, Henry Rider, She. Ed. Daniel Karlin. Oxford: OUP, 2008.

Lewis, Clive Staples. Of This and Other Worlds. London: Collins, 1984.

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1 Rudyard Kipling, ‘Recessional’, 1897, rpt. Rudyard Kipling, Selected Poems. Ed. Andrew Lycett. London: The Folio Society, 2004. 93.

2 Julian Amery, The Life of Joseph Chamberlain. London: Macmillan, 1951. Vol. 4. 421.

3 Hilaire Belloc, This And That and the Other. New York: Dodd Mead and Company, 1912. 327−34.

4 Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Last Galley’, Tales of Long Ago, 1911. rpt. The Conan Doyle Stories. London: John Murray,1951. 1092‒95.

5 H. Rider Haggard, Elissa or The Doom of Zimbabwe. 1900. Rpt. New York Xlibris Corporation: The Essential Library, 2001. 13‒14. Subsequent references to Elissa in parenthesis are to this edition.

6 H. Rider Haggard, Diary of an African Journey. 1914. London: Hurst and Company, 2001. 62. Subsequent references outside Elissa to Haggard’s opinions on African affairs are to this volume.

7 H. Rider Haggard, The Days Of My Life. London: Longmans, 1926. Vol. 2. 106.

8 John D. Coates, ‘The Spiritual Quest in Rider Haggard’s She and Ayesha’, Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens 57, 2003. 33‒54.

9 Daniel Karlin, She. Oxford: OUP, 2008. 193.

10 C. S. Lewis, ‘The Mythopoeic Gift of Rider Haggard’. 1960. Rpt. C. S. Lewis, Of This And Other Worlds. London: Collins,1984. 130.

11 John Coates, The Spiritual Quest. 33‒54.

12 Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard, His Life and Work. London: Macmillan, 1968. 247.

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John Coates, « Haggard’s Use of the Phoenician Analogy with Britain »Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens [En ligne], 91 Printemps | 2020, mis en ligne le 01 juin 2020, consulté le 25 février 2024. URL : ; DOI :

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John Coates

John Coates, MA Cambridge, Ph.D. Exeter, was a lecturer emeritus of the Department of English, Hull University, UK. He published Chesterton and the Edwardian Cultural Crisis, 1984; The Day’s Work: Kipling and the Idea of Sacrifice, 1997; Chesterton as Controversialist, 2002; The Rhetorical Use of Provocation in the Writings of Walter Pater, 2011. He had a particular interest in late Victorian and Edwardian literature but he also wrote on Romantic Prose, Combative Styles (with Bruce Woodcock), 1994; and Elizabeth Bowen, Social Discontinuity in the Work of Elizabeth Bowen, 1998. He had recently finished another book on Kipling before he died in January 2020.
John Coates, diplômé de Cambridge, était conférencier émérite au département d’anglais à Hull University, Royaume-Uni. Il a publié Chesterton and the Edwardian Cultural Crisis, 1984 ; The Day’s Work : Kipling and the Idea of Sacrifice, 1997 ; Chesterton as Controversialist, 2002 ; The Rhetorical Use of Provocation in the Writings of Walter Pater, 2011. Il avait un intérêt particulier pour la littérature victorienne et édouardienne mais il a également écrit sur la prose romantique, Combative Styles (avec Bruce Woodcock), 1994 ; et sur Elizabeth Bowen, Social Discontinuity in the Work of Elizabeth Bowen, 1998. Il venait d’achever la rédaction d’un autre ouvrage sur Kipling lorsqu’il est mort en janvier 2020.

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