Also welcomed is the easy to read narrative from A.Q. that doesn’t seem all that dated. Other books I've read from this period have left me scratching my head as to what was being said. Amusingly, the introduction has Mr. Haggard as A.Q. stating:
And now it only remains for me to offer apologies for my blunt way of writing. I can but say in excuse of it that I am more accustomed to handle a rifle than a pen, and cannot make any pretence to the grand literary flights and flourishes I see in novels...Of course, there is language and ideas that reflect the times. Of particular note in chapter one is the use of the N-word. From Wikipedia:
Although the book is certainly not devoid of racism, it expresses much less prejudice than some of the later books in this genre. Indeed, Quatermain states that he refuses to use the word "nigger" and that many Africans are more worthy of the title of "gentleman" than the Europeans who settle or adventure in the country.So, even though Haggard is advanced in his thinking for a 19th century man, he's obviously not perfect. I’m interested to see how later chapters handle descriptions and motivations of the locals.