Over His Shoulder
Over His Shoulder
Over His Shoulder
Published by Excalibur Press of London
Typesetting and Origination by CBS Felixstowe Suffolk ISBN 1 85634 203 4
OVER HIS SHOULDER
Excalibur Press of London138 Brompton Road London SW3 IHY
Over His Shoulder
A study of the aesthetics of the masculine novel of action and the romance form in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods.
Over His Shoulder
A study of the aesthetics of the masculine novel of action and the romance form in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods.
CHAPTER 1- A Homosocial Aesthetic at the Hearth of British Patriarchy
CHAPTER 2- The Aesthetics of Imperial Fiction
CHAPTER 3- "Two Pairs of Peepers"
CHAPTER 4- White Verses Black
CHAPTER 5- Science and Technology in the Romance Form
Chapter 1. A Homosocial Aesthetic at the Hearth of British Patriarchy.
There was, in the eighteen-eighties and nineties, a small group of men who, in reaction to a world they believed Queen Victoria had feminised if not desexualised, and in an age of antimacassars, starched collars and shirt fronts, sexual hypocrisy and concealed emotion, wrote and travelled together, and then set up a clubland at the hearth of British patriarchy, to which to return.
At the end of the nineteenth century some writers feared that sexuality, gender and male roles were not quite what they should be, and consequently set about producing new forms; the masculine novel of action and the romance genre, which, if we do not take their texts at face value, appear to confirm and consolidate their male bondings. At the Savile club in Piccadilly, Haggard and Lang produced a co-authored work, which could be taken to engage in misogyny. They wrote a novel entitled The World's Desire in the form of a Hellenic, lyrical fable, which explores the fictive world of masculinity but ends in misogyny and seems to hark back to Carlyle through Scott, Tennyson, Mallory's Morte d' Arthur, and The Odyssey.
It was when Haggard had completed his Icelandic saga Eric Brighteyes, that he received a letter from Lang about a sequel to The Odyssey that they had planned to collaborate on. Haggard completed a first draft and sent it to Lang. Lang lost the manuscript for six months and was only able to rediscover it among some paper covers, where it lay, presumably subconsciously repressed, to keep it from seeing the light of day. Green's version is that Haggard was working away on the story and doing a good deal of what is now the central portion. Then he sent it to Lang who promptly lost the manuscript so completelyand for so long a time that the idea of writing the book was almost abandoned. After this, the next stage was uncertain but Lang probably sent the manuscript back to Haggard who must have written a good deal more to it, and then returned it to Lang early in 1889. "Lang and I discussed it," wrote Haggard,"Then I wrote a part of it, which part he altered or rewrote." Each writing a part at a time, the novel was completed and sent for publication. After serialisation in the New Review (from April to December, 1890), The World's Desire was published on the fifth of November, 1890 by Charles Longman. 1.
As Homeric as Homer, as Arthurian as The Legends, Haggard and Lang's chivalrous work recounts, in a story reminiscent of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the second journey of Odysseus, the son of Laertes. Back from his wanderings at his ancestral home, and finding among the ruins of a destructive attack the remains of his wife, Penelope, the Wanderer (Odysseus) hearing the invocation of the bow of Eurytus resolves:
"Let us forth again
Let us feed our fill
On the flesh of men."
Having thus sworn to avenge the deaths in flesh, he clothes himself in armour, selects two spears from a stand of lances, throws a quiver of arrows over his shoulder and takes the great bow in his hand; the bow of Eurytus, which no one else can bend. Then he goes forth into the moonlight to fulfil his mission. (It is just unfortunate that he spends the rest of the novel seeking the love of a woman rather than wreaking revenge forhis slain wife.) It is this bow, then, which produces the song of the tale:
"The Song of the Bow"
Lo, the hour is nigh
And the time to smite
When the foe shall fly
From the arrow's flight!
Let the bronze bite deep!
Let the war bird fly
Upon them that sleep
And are ripe to die!
Shrill and low
Do the gray shafts sing
The song of the bow
The sound of the String! 2.
Hyper - masculinity as an ethos of empire is the resplendent theme of these Greek epics, in a misuse of the genre as a form of disguise: an overt masculine response to an essentially feminine experience.
Odysseus is visited by the goddess Aphrodite who promises him Helen of Troy, the goddess whom all men desire. Soon afterwards, Odysseus is captured by Sidonian merchants who plan to sell him as a slave, but he defeats them and escapes with the treasure by ship to Egypt where he finds both the Pharaoh's sorceress wife, Meriamun, and the beauteous goddess, Helen. Meriamun has already been warned about Odysseus's arrival by the reincarnation of a courtier, whom she has promoted to power. She falls in love with Odysseus, but he is overwhelmed by the lovely Helen and rejects her in favour of "The World's Desire". But the Wanderer cannot conquer Helen easily for she appears to change shape. But what shape does she take? In his pursuit of Helen his directions are clear:
"By the star of Love shalt thou know her. On the breast of Helen, a jewel shines, a great star -stone. From that stone fall red drops like blood and they drip from her vestment." 3.
Now, it is from this moment, Wayne Kostenbaum argues in"Double Talk" (see footnote 12.) that the drops of blood falling suggest themselves to be symbolic of the menstruating female figure. Again, in the poem which prefaces the work, the authors, in obscure reference to a star and a snake, appear to be using imagery of a star to represent female love and the long, snaky member possibly to represent male love:
"Not one but he hath chanced to wake
Dreamed of the star and found the snake
Yet, through his dreams, a wandering fire
Still, still she flits, the World's Desire." 4.
The star and the snake appear to function here as symbols which are originally derived from Herodotus. As Morton Cohen ("RiderHaggard" p. 102) has reminded us: "the psychological symbols present a challenging puzzle to the specialist as well as the casual reader". Their symbolism is nowhere explained in the story itself, but whatever significance Haggard and Lang intended them to hold, it is difficult to avoid the suggestion of masturbation.
In Western literature beginning with monasticism, masturbation seems to be associated primarily with the realm of the imagination and with its dangers, as Foucault suggests in Volume 3 of The History of Sexuality, "The Care of the Self". It is not easy to dismiss here an erotic, nocturnal onanistic symbolism. (dream,wake up, ...find the snake?) Perhaps associating the snake with a penis Haggard is making a visual reference to the erotic fantasies created by masturbation. Of course we are not eliminating the invidious connection between the snake and Eve, which has been in currency since Chaucer which has obvious connections with the role of women at that time - their then essentially subservient place in society. This leads us to the nub of the theme for the confusion over the emblems of the star and the snake could be taken to suggest a more intriguing, fundamental, human choice between love and evil, between pure love and the profane, lust and purity.
William Henley used a similar kind of imagery - that of a sword, to demonstrate power and strength, in his poem Pro Rege Nostro, a public paean to service in action, where he equates an England married to the mighty sword with a chosen people.
"England, my own
Chosen daughter of the Lord,
Spouse-in-Chief of the ancient Sword," 5.
His work is often seen as the poet's own idiosyncratic response to his personal suffering, which dominated the literary annals of imperialism, but it is replete with a shared symbolism. Then, later, promising him that he is immortal, Helen decrees that, although he is clearly mortal: "Thou shalt live again, Odysseus, as thou hast lived before, and life by life we shall meet and love till the end is come." 6. So the wages of live is life after death; resurrection for heterosexual love. In this passionate, heterosexual scene, Helen promises Odysseus immortality, but it is difficult not to read into it the desire of the author, Haggard, for immortality through reincarnation, for it is well documented that he was a firm believer in the rebirth of the self. Stevenson, pointed out The World's Desire's misogyny and wrote a parodic poem which disparaged its heterosexual plot. According to Stevenson, Lang and Haggard were foolish to make their aged Odysseus seek a wife. He called the novel both audacious and wrong and derided it in broad Scots:
Your conduc' is vicious,
Your tale is suspicious
Ye ancient sea-roamer
Ye dour old beach-comber
Frae Haggard to Homer
Sic veerin and steerin'!
What port are ye nearin'
As frae Egypt to Erin
Ye ancient old blackguard
Just see whaur ye're staggered
From Homer to Haggard
In stunt and in strife
To gang seeking a wife
At your time o' life
It was wrang.
An' see! Fresh afflictions
Into Haggard's descriptions
An' the plagues o' the Egyptians
The Folk ye're now in wi'
Are ill to begin wi
Or to risk a hale skin wi'
They're blacker and hetter
(Just ask your begetter)
And far frae bein' better
There's your Meriamun
She'll mebbe can gammon
That auld-furrand salmon Yoursel'
And Moses and Aaron
Will gie ye your fairin
Wi fire an' het airn
In Hell." 7.
The allegory in the romance The World's Desire swings from star to snake and back again as it would appear that the authorschange from male to female imagery.
"'What did I tell thee,' says Aphrodite. 'Was it not thou shouldst know the Golden Helen by the Red Star on her breast, the jewel whence fall the red drops fast, and by the Star alone? And did she not tell thee, also, that thou shouldst know her by the Star? Yet when one came to thee wearing no star but girdled with a snake, my words were all forgotten, thy desires led thee wither thou wouldst not go. Thou wast blinded by desire and couldst not discern the False from theTrue. Beauty has many shapes, now it is that of Helen, now that of Meriamun, each sees it as he desires it. But the Star is not yet the Star and the Snake is not yet the Snake and he who, bewildered by his lusts, swears by the Snake when he should have sworn by the Star, shall have the Snake for guerdon. 8.
Confirming their collaborative efforts, Stevenson wrote to Lang in continuance of their masculine bonds and Lang reported to Haggard, "Stevenson says he is 'thrilled and chilled' by Meriamun." Lang himself did not hold his own efforts in high esteem and parodied the contribution he made in a few lines of doggerel:
"It did not set the Thames on fire
It is not quite "The World's Desire!"
Much rather do the public scoff,
And yell to Nature, 'Take them off!'
While critics constantly conspire
To slate the hapless "World's Desire." 9.
To which I have penned the parody in reply;
"It did not set the world ablaze,
As on its pages they did gaze.
Much rather did the critics scoff,
And tell of Rider Haggard's toff.
While public papers they all say
The fiction set down here is gay."
Providing further proof of their collaboration, Lang wrote to Haggard pointing out that:
"You gave Loi a white beard! I shaved it! I have not been idle. I've worked on the advent of the jews, knocked out a lot of Wardour Street; added a heap and re-written the first chapter plainer and shorter." 10.
The beard, a common homosocial motif in many cultures, often indicates the mature, middle aged man, and distances him from the character of the Valentino-like lover, with the exception of those wearers of designer stubble. The scene is a failure of both Haggard and Lang in their attempts at characterisation. They try, in a collaborative act, to portray masculinity but compose a misogynistic text to drown their overt feelings of woman hating. At a later date, Lang, admitting its misogyny, wrote:
I hope you will like the new turn to the death of Pharaoh, where I give Meriamun a song,and tell the death differently. Chess again, and Pharaoh is dead! I like Helen's song in the flames; she lets the women have it. It's rather a misogynistic book on the whole." 11.
Wayne Kostenbaum has argued 12. that, in an intensely febrile scene in which she reaches into a box, the goddess Meriamun takes part in an act of female onanism, but my own feeling is that Haggard is recreating a sense of the duality of human nature, that Green has referred to as the "Platonic Dual Unity of Complementary Souls". It seems to be unrelated to the idea of good and evil as such but infers, rather, a concept of human nature being part of a divided whole, a 'doppelganger', a double identity, suggested by the shape shifting of Helen.
Both Haggard and Lang in their writing are taking part in an act of misogyny. They, dislike, it appears, the female sex and admire, preferably, males. The image of the curling snake arguably represents here the male sex which they prefer. When the long curling snake is revealed to possess the head of a human, albeit a female one - that of Meriamun - there is a loss of reality in the sense of what the serpent represents: sin or beauty, beauty or sin. When she is questioned by the snake about what s/he represented, the answer that Meriamun gives the snake confirms the idea of a duplicity of the female psyche which Haggard so despised - the psychological allegory of the images appears to be that the snake represents sin, and not purity and chastity, yet the snake proceeds forth from the evil side of the queen's nature and not the beauteous side.
Haggard and Lang seem to assert that beneath the beauty of the female lies duplicity and evil - beneath the disguised sex of the serpent there is a fundamental criticism of not only female nature but human nature. Haggard and Lang have been cheated in love and they disguise their feelings in a story filled with evil, sin, malice, duplicity and lust to represent beauty; and beauty,attraction, desire, loveliness and faith in humanity to represent evil:
"And the first time that she breathed the Thing stirred and sparkled. The second time that she breathed it undid its shining folds and reared its head to hers. The third time that she breathed it slid from her bosom to the floor, then coiled itself about her feet and slowly grew as grows themagician's magic tree."
"Greater and greater it grew yet, and as it grew it shone like a torch in a tomb, and wound itself about the body of Meriamun, wrapping her n its fiery folds till it reached her middle. Then it reared its head on high, and from its eyes there flowed a light like the light of a flame, and lo! its face was the face of a fair woman - it was the face of Meriamunl." 13.
The snake and the woman take part in a lengthy conversation a deux and then intimate a serpent devouring its own self: the standard emblem of eternal life, represented by the unending circle of the snake's body and with, importantly, the serpent shedding its own shining skin. The snake was part of the emblems of the Hippocratic Society and of the Theosophical Society. If I can throw my hat into the ring, and deconstruct the sexual imagery a little further, we have here the idea of a ring, a common fetish of Haggard's, possibly conveying marriage, or we could gloss it as the anus. Haggard and Lang seem to suggest to each other, "I could eat you" - a conventional image for sexual desire. The imagery of sexual arousal, the snake, arguably representing the erect phallus prior to penetration of its 'alter ego'.
W B Yeats explains in his Autobiography that "the meaning of the serpent was plain enough... the serpent is the Kabalistic serpent - winding nature". In Mythologies Yeats elucidates on "the meaning of winding nature and the straight line which is called in Balzac's Seraphita "the Mark of Man" but is better described as saint or sage'
Interestingly, Freud, referring to snakes in his interpretation of the Medusa's head-dream, viewed the decapitated head with its snaky looks as a "genitalized head", an upward displacement of the genital organs so that the mouth stands for the vagina denta and the snakes for pubic hair. Freud thereby seems to confirm long held suspicions of the snake's identification with sexuality and, in particular, with the pubic and erogenous areas of the human body.
The star could be taken to represent the dreaming side, the female, receptive emblem of the Morning Star which has connotations of Lucifer, and, most paradoxically, in view of my remarks about the serpent, of Eve.
Evidently Haggard felt a great deal of grief for the loss of his first love which is repeated in his fiction. In at deeply revealing scene, the Queen, Meriamun, poisons Hatsaka for daring to toy with her Pharaoh, Khani. This can perhaps be taken to mean that Haggard's woman love is paramount and will brook no rivals in her affections, for Meriamun disposes of them in the same way as Haggard's father forced him to dispose of his first love by demanding that he remain in South East Africa. It could appear that, fictively, Haggard makes Leo strive to retain the Queen as first in his affections which is a construct for Haggard to be able to continue, in his novel, the obsession with his first real love affair.
An inferential thought; the star does not necessarily represent love but rather, its brightness could be taken to represent South Africa, where Haggard saw his ambitions and love for life blossom, his lode star so to speak; and the snake, paradoxically, does not represent evil but stands for Norfolk where Haggard failed in his first amatory and amorous ventures. Haggard, a great imperialist, which I mean in a negative sense, especially in his activities in the Commonwealth, saw his future as only represented by the star of hope, which we take to mean Zululand,and he possibly felt an undying sense of injustice at his failure in love as the misogyny of the tale becomes a second order of reality represented by the snake and the star.
The snake imagery appears again in the story which appeared as a sequel to "She" entitled "Ayesha". A story which is primarily a quest for an idealised woman, it describes an utopian vision of a beautiful heroine who again wears the snake charm:
"Oh! and there - a Glory covered with a single garment - stood a shape celestial. It seemed to be asleep, since the eyes were shut. Or was it dead,for at first that face was a face of death? Look,the sunlight played upon her, shining through the thin veil, the dark eyes opened like the eyes of a wandering child; the blood of life flowed up the ivory bosom into the pallid cheeks; the raiment of black and curling tresses wavered in the wind; the head of the jewelled snake that held them sparkled beneath her breast." 14.
And in a heterosexual passage from the novel She, the snake rears its heads again, where her gown is fastened by a snake brooch:
"About the waist her white kirtle was fastened by a double-headed snake of solid gold above which her gracious form swelled up as pure as they were lovely, till the kirtle ended at the snowy argent of her breast." 15.
Again the snake has two heads to confirm and endorse its double nature - the double nature of being, a major componentof the novel.
It is well documented that Lang helped Haggard plan and revise She. It is a misogynistic story depending for its success largely on a masculine public repressed by Victorian standards of sexuality. The heroine, Ayesha, possesses the traditional qualities of womanhood: permanent youth, perennial prettiness, supernatural strength; and she is white! Ayesha, whose name is the same as the wife of the prophet of Islam, is of the Arab nation for which Haggard felt a strong affiinity, regarding it as pure, and culturally in accord with his values, its people being strong, virile and attractive to westerners, a model for Haggard's heroes and protagonists. She appears in historical costume and is very wise. Morton Cohen 16. sees her as Sagacity itself: Wisdom's Daughter he calls her, referring to another Haggard title. She is in one (Jungian) theory, the projection of Haggard's unconscious deal of the perfect love, an image varying only in small details that man has inherited inpart as a legacy of his race's past history - what Jung terms "the race memory". 17.
Haggard's thinly veiled women figures are usually seen high above on a plinth or on another unreachable 'pylon's brow'adorned with hieroglyphics and, especially, the imagery of the Star of love. In the sequel to She, entitled Ayesha the story is also arguably a quest for the perfect woman. But the reader cannot easily follow the geographical role that his/her search unfolds nor can s/he distinguish the various priestesses, shamans, goddesses such as Meriamun and Ayesha or the immortal women such as the Hathor, Khania or Atene with which Haggard peoples his novels. The work is, I would argue, a reflection of Haggard's search for a lost love, and there is the acceptance of a compromise in the later part of the novel, where, not finding his idealised woman, Leo settles for a less beautiful, but perfectly adaptable female life partner.
Besides the romantic heroine there is also another woman in the Haggard novel. She is kept in the background during the early part of the work and comes to the fore as a force to be reckoned with only towards the end when the hero has lost the heroine and realizes, on the rebound, that he may have to accept a less than perfect match for his romantic ideals, who is a young lady who truly loves him, is a good manager and companion and might not be so unsuitable after all. The hero marries her and the couple live in perpetual contentment if not in blissful happiness thereafter.
To what extent, then, did the collaborators work together to produce a heated yet viable form of writing? While Haggard was writing She he asked Lang to assist him in the day to day writing, sometimes at the Savile Club in Piccadilly. Lang's letters to Haggard document the translation of She from a figment of Haggard's imagination to a printed novel. Unfortunately, none of Haggard's letters to Lang survives. Morton Cohen's research shows that he probably asked for Lang's help in what Cohen pedantically calls "charting the history of Leo Vincey's ancestry". Lang wrote to Haggard to teach him how the ancient Greeks named their children. "My Greek prose has 20 years of rust on it," he complained, but as a compromise he said he would get him "a piece by an Ireland scholar". In a letter of February lst. 1886, Lang suggested that "'Vindex,Vindici, Vincey' would knit" and this became the genealogy of Leo Vincey. On 12th. July, 1886, Haggard sent the proofs of She to Lang and although he tampered with them little, he sent them back with the comment:
"I have pretty nearly finished She. I really mustcongratulate you; I think it is one of the mostastonishing romances I ever read. The more im-possible it is, the better you do it, till it seemslike a story from the literature of another planet."
but he also criticises the hasty style:
"You really must look after the style, more when it comes out as a book. I would also, if it is not impertinent, reduce the comic element a good deal- it is sometimes so sudden a drop as to be quite painful. For my own part (and I am pretty sure many readers will agree) there is too much raw heart... and other tortures. I'm saying pretty much what I would say in a review, only beforehand I'd like to see it polished up a bit and made more worthy of the imagination in it."
Later, "I want it to be A1 in its genre - a dreadfully difficult genre it is," Lang cajoles in his usual scholarly tone, and again: "I want you to be very careful with the proofs." Coming from someone who had lost them for six months that is likely to have fallen on deaf ears.
In his review of the novel Lang found it hard not to give 'any but a personal and subjective estimate' about it and went on to say that for him the book was a rare experience that took him 'beyond the bounds of explored Romanticism. The more impossible it gets, the better (to my taste) Mr Haggard does it.' The Athenaeum judged She to be "an original, attractive, bewildering, impressive, and withal disappointing work", and Henley confessed that "For my part I couldn't put it down until I had finished it". 18.
She is another tale, like King Solomon's Mines told by a returned traveller. In this heated, homosocial work, there is an emphasis on male ties which is reflected in the devotion of Leo and Holly for each other and the dogged affection given by Job to his employer. The hypercharged reaction between master and servant in the Victorian novel is thematically dominated by homosocial bonding, it crosses class/master/servant divides and gender differences and frequently does so. In turn, it wreaks vengeance on women. In the scene where Leo and Holly are escaping danger (the homoeroticism/homosociality is always fraught with danger) each must help the other to jump across a yawning chasm. Leo reconfirms their mutual ties of togetherness:
"I heard his sinews cracking above me, and I felt myself lifted up as though I were a child, till I got my left arm around the rock, and my chest was resting on it. The rest was easy; in two or three more seconds I was up, and we lay panting side by side, trembling like leaves, and with the cold perspiration of terror pouring from our skins."
We can almost taste the salt of sweat in such perilous escapades! At another point, running away from the allegedly cannibalistic warriors we learn that:
"There was a curious gleam in Leo's eyes, and his handsome face was set like a stone. In his right hand was his heavy hunting knife. He shifted its thong a little up his wrist, then he put his armround me and embraced me." 20.
Violence is juxtaposed with the vocabulary of male bonding,for during the fight with the allegedly cannibalistic warriors "they did not know but that we could continue shooting forever". 21.
At the end of the romance the homosocial relationship between Holly, the narrator, who doubles conceivably as a literary personification of Haggard, and Leo Vincey, the most beautiful man of all the academic alumni of his maternal university assemblage, transcends the African location of the piece and continues on after Ludwig's return to his old college - (something)College, Cambridge:
"Now I write these last words with Leo leaning over my shoulder in the old room in my College, the same into which some two-and-twenty years ago my poor friend Vincey stumbled on the memorable night of his death..." 22.
Again, the erstwhile friend leaning (innocently?) over the shoulder as these books were meant to be read by a boy with a man looking over his shoulder. This male attraction allows of the possibility of further cooperative ventures in private while a continuing, more intimate relationship is eagerly mooted and ardently endorsed:
"Here ends this history as far as it concerns science and the outside world. What its end will be as regards Leo and myself is more than I can guess. But we feel that it is not reached yet."23.
If we could hazard an opinion at what is meant, I would contend that their homosocial ventures were sure to continue on into Ayesha, Allan Quatermain and other binding projects.
In this Haggard romance Holly, a typical Haggard hero, is sitting alone in his room at night when a friend, Leo Vincey, arrives with a box. Informing him that he is dying, he invites his friend to foster his son, Leo, after his death. Much later, his son opens the box and discovers the writings which tell of an obscure and weird genealogy. Leo is related to Kallikrates, a priest of the Royal House of the Pharaohs of Egypt, who has escaped from his country with his love, Amenartas. The Queen has murdered Kallikrates, but Amenartas has fled with her son, from whom Leo is descended. Arriving in Africa to investigate the genealogy and to follow their destiny, Vincey and the others are captured by Billali and taken directly to the queen. Reaching the queen's apartments after many difficulties overcome, as is standard in the genre, the veiled beauty explains that she is waiting for the love of her life to return after an interval of two thousand years.
When, the next day, she enters Leo Vincey's sickroom, where he is recovering from a spear wound inflicted by the Armahaggar warriors, she finds that he is the man she has been dreaming of for aeons. Ayesha demands that he be taken to her chamber, where she watches over him until his recovery. Leo soon comes under her spell and falls irrevocably in love with her, despite the fact that Ayesha has killed Ustane, his Armahaggar bride. Ayesha shows Leo the solidified empty shell of Kallikrates who died two thousand years before and claims that he, Leo, is the living embodiment of Kallilcrates and that he is, in fact, Kallikrates. Leo, Holly and the Queen set out for the Pillar of Life, which is depicted as a magical flame. Ayesha enters into the crematory fire, and beckons Leo to follow but does not survive the experience, and is turned into a hideous burnt out old hag with the face of a wizened monkey, while Leo does not enter. With no option but to return home, Leo Vincey and Ludwig Holly go back to England where they can contemplate further adventures to complete the unfinished story.
Unanswered questions remain: what is the meaning of the fire which gives everlasting life, and why is Leo but not Ayesha allowed to survive by refusing to enter it? Leo does not risk the crematory flames because he cannot be sure of death. The possibility of immortality without his woman is too great a fictional burden for Haggard to contemplate in his grief at the loss of his love, so he chooses not to allow his character to enter fictively into the golden flame of eternity. Why does Haggard create originally a mocking, cold beauty without relation to the humanity of women? Moreover, why does Haggard turn a beautiful woman into a hateable, monkey-like creature, and why is his misogyny such a potent force in the novel? We would suggest that his misogyny represents his desire to rid himself of his woman figure and thereby allow the men to continue their homosocial activities in further adventures.
The idea of the immortality of a beautiful goddess comes, arguably, from the opera Aida by Verdi and the idea of a burning immortal woman reputably from Zulu myth. We have to look no further than Boadicea and the 'iron lady' for women with superior feminine powers. We may give a reference here to Simon Shepherd's "Amazons and Warrior women". 24. Shepherd is a gay male critic who has worked in male/female stereotyping. He identified warrior women in the literature of the seventeenth century - the marshall Britomart, and her lookalike Bradamante; Radigund, of the 'faire visage' whose fighting overtumed the laws of chivalry because 'like a greedy Beare' she refused to remain obeisant to men; the sword wielding Artegall and, of course, Boadicea (Bunduca). There were also fighting women named Gwendolen, Martia, Emmilen and most famous of all, the dreadful Angela. Amazons were supposedly hyperactive sexually; the reason, Simon Shepherd explains in this most intriguing study, these one-breasted seventeenth century WRACs set up single gender constructs was because they could not attract men.
The derivation of the stone pillars of the city is, arguably,from the fabled city of Zimbabwe. The lost ruins of Zimbabwe(Rhodesia) were reputed to have been evidence of a traditional people, who in an ancient past had reared a civilisation in that country and the most important among the ruins were the Zimbabwe remains in Mashonaland where an irregular enclosure measuring approximately three hundred and fifty metres in circumference with massive dry stone walls some ten metres high and four metres thick, known as the "Elliptical Temple" but in fact a large stone kraal, was built. On a nearby hill an Acropolis stood a hundred metres above the surrounding country, and itwas reputed to have been fortified as a citadel with a maze ofhuge walls and crenellations following the contours of the mountainside. There were also, according to the legend, other remains, below, named the "Valley Ruins" which were thought to date back to the times of the Sabeans and the Phoenicians. Who had built these lost ruins and massive temples and fortresses? Haggard's answer to this intriguing question was that they were the evidence of a lost civilisation which worshipped the Nature gods, and the legends and myths about these venerated sites were the ones which Haggard took for the setting of 'King Solomon's Mines'.
Following their collaboration on 'The World's Desire', Haggard and Lang's friendship continued. They often met at the Savile Club and went away on bonhomous trips together and entertained each other at their respective homes. When the two writers travelled abroad they were separated but this, arguably, gave added piquancy to their reunions.
The dedications which romance writers make to their homosocial friends are further evidence of homocentric trends. Others besides, in literature, have dedicated their publications to someone else, of course. The act of dedication of a work toanother has an ill documented background in the annals of English Literature. It was, however, a practice for writers in the Renaissance to dedicate work to an influential or aristocratic person in the hope of material reward or financial benefit.
Sir Philip Sidney was the dedicatee of his school friend Sir Fulke Greville's "Treatise on Monarchy" published in 1670, which work he claims had been "Written in his Youth, and familiar exercise with Sir Philip Sidney," to cite one Elizabethan example. 25. Spenser dedicated his 'Shepheardes Calender' to Sidney also.
The precursors of these dedications are numerous. Tennyson, bewailing the loss of Arthur Hallam as the heroic leader blazoned in glory, dedicated In Memoriam to his memory. The poem envisages a spiritually gifted man who, "moving up from high to higher, / Becomes on Fortune's crowning slope / The Pillar of a world's desire". 26. The title of Haggard and Lang's novel is derived from this literary source dedicated to a male bonding. Their reference to such a preeminently passionate homosocial work clearly sets the tone for the kind of novel they wish to write together.
Together Haggard and Lang dedicated "The World's Desire"to Sir W B Richmond A R A who was a fellow artist at the Royal Academy. Buchan dedicates his adventure romance to Lionel Phillips with the line: 'But in you I think the boy is not over'. While Buchan's dedication is only evocative of the boy in a man and the continuation of that perennial idea of games men play; boyishness in one's desire to play heroes and read adventures, so Lang's dedication to a friend, is an attempt to gain his love and admiration. The coolness of Sir W B Richmond's response to the original request to be a dedicatee suggests a fear of coming out into the open about his sexual proclivities, the danger of which Lang and Haggard are constantly trying to circumvent. All grist to the mill for chaps engaged in double writing on the very edge of respectability and providing for a voyeuristic public.
Haggard dedicated his novel, "King Solomon's Mines", to all the big and little boys who read it, drawing attention, thereby, to its readership; boys with men looking over their shoulder; the boyhood of many a repressed Victorian schoolboy sexually heightened by delighting in prurience.
Henley's preface to "Lyra Heroica" 27. includes the explanation that: "This book of verse for boys is, I believe, the first of its kind in English. " Henley, who salutes Oscar Wilde, the best known of all literary pederasts, as a "scholar and a gentleman", 28. defines its intended readers; boys rather than men. This may appear spurious, but Henley is the most determined of the homosexual writers. His earnest friendships are made, and passionate arguments unfold, with people as diverse as Wilde, Stevenson, Haggard, Lang and Kipling. He employs, suggestively, the notorious homophile, Ross on his journal, 'The Scots Observer' to help him escape from his family.
Andrew Lang dedicated to Haggard a collection of essays,"In the Wrong Paradise", which recalls the pleasure of boy-hood and suggests the desire to return to that state of innocence where sexual escapades are more common and, perhaps more charming: "Dear Rider Haggard, I have asked you to let me put your name here, that I might have the opportunity of saying how much pleasure I owe to your romances. They make one a boy again while one is reading them." In a characteristic remark, Lang in his dedication to Haggard attempts to explain: "We are all savages under our white skins, but you alone recall to us the delights and terrors of the world's nonage."
In the sequel to "King Solomon's Mines", "Allan Quatermain", published in 1887, Haggard dedicated the book to:
"...my son Arthur John Haggard in the hope that in days to come he, and many other boys whom I shall never know, may in the acts and thoughts of Allan Quatermain and his companions, as herein recorded, find something to help him and them to reach to what, with Sir Henry Curtis, I hold to be the highest rank whereto we can attain - the state and dignity of an English gentleman."
The name which he gave his son, "Jock", was his pseudonym for Arthur, the renowned king of fable; and by his dedication to those boys, arguably including Lang, (who contributed an overtly martial, hyper-masculine poem to the novel) who became his sons by reading it, he anticipated they might dis-cover something socially uplifting enough to help them in their journey to become little gentlemen. 29.
Questions remain: why did the authors in question dedicate; to whom were the books dedicated, and who so lovingly? In an effusive tribute written to please a 'homosocialist' Rudyard Kipling dedicated "Barrack Room Ballads" to Wolcott Balestier 30. in embarrassing verses which previously appeared in Henley's paper on 27th. December, 1890, and, on the same day in "St.James's Gazette". The title in Balestier's lifetime was "The Blind Bug" and in the "Barrack Room Ballads" version the last three stanzas have been changed as a tribute to Balestier; a tribute to the man he loved.
Stevenson hotly dedicated "Treasure Island" to "S L O, an American gentleman, in accordance with whose classic taste the following narrative has been designed, it is now, in return for numerous delightful hours, and with the kindest wishes, dedicated by his affectionate friend the author." One wonders what the numerous delightful hours entailed. The dedications were surely an attempt to capture the attention, respect, and admiration of the other and were part of that doubleness of life which collaborators knew and felt for each other in the deepest moments of their cherished collaboration.
It was a sense of privilege, patronage, clubland friendships and homoeroticism which permeated their writing. Patronage has always been a dominant social force in British life. In the nineteenth century it could extend from a means of obtaining employment in the government and the armed forces - jobs for the boys - through to the bestowal of honours and the provision of relief to the middle and upper classes.
The word 'patronage' is used in the OED sense of "the action of a patron in bestowing influential support, favour, encouragement or countenance to a person". It is in this sense that we use it in the context of male literary culture, where it is used as a means of obtaining favour - dedicating works to a superior or more influential patron, which relationship can lead to the promotion of one's literary cause or advance one's chances of publication, and the resultant sales of books. The word is used in the sense of the protection given by a Lord High Admiral or as in the extremely aristocratic case of the Lord Chamberlain's patronage of Shakespeare.
Ben'Johnson, too, who, in his relation with his patrons, was watching for a partly aristocratic milieu in which to operate. He used the aristocratic, and academic worlds, the field of medicine, as a consultant with younger people to further his ambi-tions.
The full scenario of patronage does not cease with the triumph of print, yet the notion of patronage continues as a minor script culture into the age of print. Yet it did bring about new kinds of patronage, especially State patronage, for example, licences, stipends, and suppliers to royalty etc.
John Donne, too, who in his middle years, after overcoming the shock and scandal occasioned by his ravishing of his employer's sixteen-year-old niece, and looking for employment, enters the church, emerges as a star preacher, becomes a journeyman, takes an oath of allegiance and subservience to the Virginia Company where he thrives. His attempts to look for patrons for his work result in two dedications to Sir Robert Jury, one element of which was the looking to him, through personal wants and needs, as a patron.
"It's a good British feeling to try and raise your family a little," was how Mr Vincey in George Eliot's "Middlemarch"described the emotion aroused by the use of patronage which united some families in its service. Yet, not all sections ofsociety were involved, and frequent charges of nepotism werehard to refute. Some, like Dickens, were well aware of thesocial reforms necessary to obviate a system based on friendships, alliances and patronage rather like a vast outdoor relief system run by the Cheeryble brothers.
There was an elaborate Edwardian convention of flowery and extravagant dedications. Yet, there is a contrast to be seen in Joseph Conrad who, in a complicated dedication, which has to do with Conrad's social background as an erotic writer whose bewildering courtesies can break out enormously from his Polish ethnic cultural heritage, is deeply penneated by French culture. 31.
F R Leavis was an eminent critic who perceived Conrad as a'cosmopolitan of French culture', and an even more eminent critic, Hugh Walpole, came to the conclusion that he was unmistakably 'under the influence of the style of the author of Madame Bovary' (Flaubert) particularly in Almayer's Folly. However,since the 1960s Conrad has been increasingly seen as having a'double image' and a 'dual identity', both Polish and English. This concept has been repeatedly underscored by, amongst others, R D Cunninghame Graham in a book on Stephen Crane and his relations with Conrad and by A Cedric Watts in "A Preface to Conrad" where the idea of a double identity is again raised.
Although Conrad claimed to be 'un ecrivain idiomatique en anglais', despite the full-scale attempts which Conrad made to acquire an idiomatic English prose this contention, as Yves Hervouet has shown in a painstaking article which looks at Conrad's English under three headings: lexical items, idiomatic phrases, and grammar, is not borne out, because much of his style appears to be the result of direct translation from the French.
T S Eliot dedicated to Hambro in an elaborate and exotic dedication and Eliot's dedications to Pound are a terser version of his dedications which included a tag from a foreign language to make evident his classical knowledge.
In the nineteenth century the role of editors, literary friendships and camaraderie continued in the world of men's clubs, the tea houses and coffee shops, and the music hall 32. where the bondings of male homosocial passion could continue. The elemental fact of the gentlemen's clubs was that they were "men only" by definition; yet clubland has partly changed its gender classification since the 1890s - there are now some women members, a few women club secretaries, but no roaring fires nor pliant men cashiers. Only in the final decade of the twentieth century does one of the last bastions of the men's clubs, the gentlemen Members' Room at Lords, fall to the ladies, albeit without the right to vote on that most important of matters to the English man - cricket. A full century later women are still struggling to gain admission to clubs such as the Athenaeum, and even in the conceivably more egalitarian United States, cannot gain entry to the Century Club, New York, and the Ivy Club at Princeton University.
Some modem fictional heroes do not belong to clubs at all, but the gentlemen of the period in question in this survey did possess a club and their clubland membership was a factor in their behaviour. The archetypal hero was a "man's man", as I have suggested, and the club offered him a place from which to operate. But there is an essential difference between membership of a club like the Athenaeum, to which Kipling was elected under rule II which permitted special election on the grounds of distinction, and his membership of the Savile, where he felt, according to Angus Wilson, in "The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling" some unease, "where they all made him so welcome and yet saw only aesthetic beauty and humour and stirring metres in his work".
The Athenaeum with its professional class, establishment ethos was the place for Kipling to be seen with Cecil Rhodes and Alfred Milner, and in a reference to such a meeting in a letter to Dr Conland in Battleboro he is skittish about its importance: "And talking of smashes and their results reminds me that we are going to London in a few days to meet Cecil Rhodes at dinner. I think it will be rather larks." 33. But the Athenaeum was a convenient, though forbidding place to meet, for as Kipling wrote to Stanley Weyman: "The Athenaeum (Golly what a club- I've been afraid to enter it for fear the hall porter would kick me out) is good enough for me - and London in Jubilee is unspeakable Tophet." 34.
The Athenaeum club is featured by Rupert Hart-Davis, when he recounts a characteristic description of Kipling by Walpole in his biography Hugh Walpole: "A wonderful moming with old Kipling in the Athenaeum. He was sitting surrounded by the reviews of his new book, beaming like a baby." 35.I
In John Buchanan's Half Hearted there is the first suggestion that Lord this and Lord that made their decisions on foreign policy over coffee at the club, bringing out a gazetteer in the library to decide where the next threat to the home country was emanating from. 36.
The Athenaeum club provided an opportunity, as well as of poring over maps and reference books, of reading the newspapers of the day, such as the dailies the Morning Chronicle, Guardian, Herald, Morning Post, or the Times; the evening papers, the Courier, Globe, Sun, Standard, Albion, or the True Sun and such Sundays as the John Bull, Age, Examiner, Observer, Sunday Times, News Atlas, Spectator, Alfred, or Bell's Messenger, while provincial papers taken included the Cambridge Chronicle, Oxford Journal, Dublin Evening Mail, Edinburgh Courant, or the Scotsman.
Henry James enjoyed membership of a number of London clubs. In 1878 he was elected to membership of the Reform club and he, too, joined the Athenaeum under rule II in 1882 and counted honorary membership of the Savile, the Traveller's and the St. James's among his club memberships. Montgomery Hyde explained in Henry James at Home how:
"he would repair to dinner after a hard day's writing in his lodgings, an additional advantage, since the dinner was 'good and cheap' in comparison with London restaurants whose badness is literally fabulous. For Henry the Athenaeum was 'the last word of a high civilisation'." 37.
Writers' clubs included the Omar Khayam Club, the Athenaeum, the New Vagabonds Club, the Rhymers Club, the Savile Club and the Rabelais Club organised by Walter Besant in 1880,and included George Du Maurier, Thomas Hardy, Bret Harte, Oliver Wendel Holmes, Henry Irving, Henry James, James Payn and Robert Louis Stevenson amongst its clientele.
Smoking was not generally permitted in the Athenaeum until1924, and then only in the drawing room after 1.30 pm, because members were more in favour of the habit of taking snuff. Snuff boxes were provided from which members could take their supply and if any member desperately wanted to smoke he had to repair to an attic room.
But the consumption of beer and wine was copious, there were billiards, chess and card games and it was always possible to cash a cheque with the cashier or go to sleep in its deep and commodious armchairs.
Yet any discussion of the clubland ethos would have to take into account the fact that the gentleman's club was a distinct type of aristocratic hearthland and has its origins in late eighteenth century squirearchy and developed into the middle twentieth century as the decided home of the establishment; military, civil service, clerical, diplomatic, colonial, cultural, artistic, literary, sporting etc.
The tendency of these correspondences, dedications, teachers, interpreters, clublands, tea and coffee houses, music halls, until they were pushed out by the rise of English as a subject in universities, a quite late occurrence, 38. stems from reviewers such as Lord Jeffrey one of the founders of the "Edinburgh" which continued publishing until 1929, and other late eighteenth century reviews such as the "Monthly Review" and the "Critical Review".
The distinctive kind of literariness of the period with its chatty allusiveness to books, points towards the theme of bookiness as being a way of life; life as a literary joumey recorded in "The Bookman" and "Longman's Magazine" to which Andrew Lang contributed 1,920 quarto pages in the eighties and early nineties, "At the Sign of the Ship" and "At the Sign of St. Paul's", its erstwhile sequel in the "Illustrated London News". By the time "Longman's" ceased publication in the nineties Lang had already contributed 250 short pieces between 1891 and 1896, and a weekly 'chat-line' "From a Scottish Workshop", during most of 1896. There is a suggestion about a distinctive kind of literariness of this joumal, with its quaint "Letters to Dead Authors" which purported to be imaginary correspondence with characters in contemporaneous works of fiction, or perhaps, conversations between say, Sir Isaac Walton and the characters in The Pilgrim's Progress, Christian, Evangelist, Mr Worldly Wiseman, Goodwill, Mr Legality, Obstinate, Pliable, Interpreter, Formalist, Hypocrisy etc. 39.
Members of both literary clubs, the Savile and the Piccadilly included William Henley, Henry Butcher, Andrew Lang, Rider Haggard, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling and Henry James, but not Oscar Wilde. Wilde has been sponsored for membership of the Savile but was blackballed, ie prevented from joining by a ballot of members, whilst James insisted that he was not one of his friends, although it was he who had sponsored Wilde for membership.
C S Lewis has characterised this shared professional ethos and the directions in which it can branch where he speaks of "that gang" or "They" or "So and so and his set" or "the Caucus" or "the Inner Ring". Such categories are essential to the well-being of societies and are immediately recognisable to insiders. Late Victorian fiction is full of such inner rings and of the attempts of fictional characters to penetrate them, only to discover that they consist of - society. 40.
W E Henley was a generous and encouraging editor, and as a non-aristocrat he expected to advance the commercial aspect of a relationship. He was, as a publisher, author and editor, on exactly the same sell/buy relationship with one person as any other. We have, in the words of W B Yeats, a suggestion of Henley's secret life; a life of the literary salons. He recounts how Henley:
"alarmed me and impressed me exactly as he did those others who were called Henley's young men, and even today [when I meet] someone among them, showing perhaps the first sign of age, we recognise at once the bond. We have as it were a secret in common; that we have known a man whose powers no others can know because it has not found expression in words. I have never cared for anything in Henley's poetry except those early gay verses in the measure of Villon, and I know that their charm was the image of that other man's face." 41.
Kipling wrote an angry, violent poem after Charles Stewart Parnell, leader of the Irish Home Rule party was vindicated of the crime of inciting and condoning political murder with letters to prove it. But the letters, supposedly written by Parnell to The Times about the murder of the newly appointed Irish secretary were, after some theatrical juridical events, in February 1889, exposed as forgeries written by one Piggot, who subsequently committed suicide. Parnell emerged triumphant and Kipling's poem, which supported Parnell, suggesting that he may not have perpetrated the forgeries was sympathetic. At the end of December, 1889, Captain O'Shea, the estranged husband of Mrs O'Shea, named Parnell as co-respondent in his divorce petition. The undefended case brought Parnell to ruin and he died in1891. It was an example of Kipling's poetical gratitude in such cases of secular high drama.
Patronage was all part of the 'Boy', ethos of late nineteenth century public life as exemplified by figures like Cecil Rhodes who was, if Martin Seymour-Smith's account is credible 42. a repressed homosexual whom Charles Carrington, Haggard's biographer, called a man "unmoved by women; Ruskin whom Kipling championed and patronised in Stalky, and Kipling himself who was genitally homosexual in his proclivities; men who used their sense of sexual camaraderie for the purposes of bestowing and receiving favours. There can be little doubt, even if Seymour-Smith is engaged in massive exaggeration, that the striking features of late Victorian fiction were its emotional focusing on and its homosocial featuring of boys and the public school; a fiction which engaged in a rhetoric of male chauvinism and paternalism with its romantic assertions of masculinity in all its primitive, innocent strength and virtue, but which began to show an anxiety about the next generation of men after the disastrous defeats of the Boer War.
There is an apparent pressure to portray and explain boyhoodand nascent masculinity as mutually inclusive and of equivalentvalue. Herein we can observe definitions of appropriate sexual behaviour defining acceptable hero images of the kind valued in male orientated clublands, praising a work ethic and superiority over social and cultural inferiors, and most importantly over women.
The notion of attempting to instruct boys in masculinity is to be seen as part of the changing pattern of attitudes in late Victorian times to sexual difference. It was Ruskin who appeared to reinforce existing codes of masculinity and femininity in his lecture delivered at the Exhibition Palace, Dublin, entitled 'The Mystery of Life and its Arts' and published under the general title of Sesame and Lilies, where he observed and studied children at play in a garden: "And the children were happy for a while, but presently they separated themselves into parties; and then each party declared it would have a piece of the garden for its own, and that none of the others should have anything to do with that piece."
"Next," he went on to say, "they quarrelled violently whichpieces they would have; and at last the boys took up the thing," and here he shows his colours - "as boys should do, 'practically', and fought in the flower beds till there was hardly a flower left standing; then they trampled down each other's bits of the garden out of spite;" now out beams the revealing highlight "and the girls cried till they could cry no more; and so they all lay down at last breathless in the ruin, and waited for the time to be taken home in the evening." 43.
Such were the accepted norms of behaviour for boys (and girls) which were codified into imperial literature by authors who, like the masters in John Betjeman's highly nostalgic and richly evocative prose poem Summoned by Bells, 44. were still "big boys at heart". In life, boys were expected to trample and contend for kingdoms, as Ruskin explained in his note to the piece, and girls, it would seem, were supposed to adhere to stereotypes of rabid emotionalism and chaotic destructiveness.
More specifically, Ruskin defined man's power as "active, progressive, defensive. He is eminently the doer, the creator, the discoverer, the defender. His intellect is for speculation and invention, his energies for adventures, for war and for conquest." 45.
Fictively, boys were the achievers and girls the non-achievers. They were rugged and hardy and especially adventurous, while girls were sensitive and easily given to sobbing, stay-at-homes. The athleticism which these boys displayed on the rugby field and the cricket pitch was symptomatic of their general fitness, strength and team spirit. The progression to Oxbridge and the army was the natural step in their evolution into 'little imperialists'.
As the historian John Boswell explained, "boy" was the euphemistic Victorian codeword for the male lover as "lad" was in A E Housman's generation. 46. For Housman, death is the neatest solution to the 'medical' problem of male love. As he advised in A Shropshire Lad:
"Shot? so quick, so clean an ending
Oh that was right, lad, that was brave:
Yours was not an ill for mending."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, too, satisfied himself that he had achieved what he had set out to do in the field of fictive boyhood in his epigraph to the story entitled The Lost World:
"I have wrought my simple plan
If I give one hour of joy
To the boy who's half a man
And the man who's half a boy."
The definitions of the gradations between the masculine and the feminine allows us to draw a line, if only a very thin one, between where one sex begins and another ends. There is, biologically, a signficant difference between the male and the female, but a definition which allows us to see this statement in the light of the borderline in sexuality between the consummate man and the perfect woman as being infinitesimal can be drawn from Bram Stoker in 'Dracula':
"the ideal man is entirely or almost entirely masculine and the ideal woman is entirely or almost entirely feminine. Each individual must have a preponderance, be it ever so little, of the cells of its own sex, and the attraction of eachi ndividual to the other depends upon its place on the scale between the highest and lowest grade of sex. The most masculine man draws the most feminine woman, and vice versa; and so down the scale till close to the borderline in the great mass of persons, who, having only developed a few of the qualities of sex, are easily satisfied to mate with anyone."
The concept of excessive masculinity is hard to divorce from imperial homosocial fiction. What were seen by many as the moral and physical beauty of athleticism 47. and the Spartan ideal of Stoicism, whose allegedly salutary effects are still promoted by the Headmaster of Gordonstoun school, may well have been the virtues which the public schools identified as characterising the imperial attitude.
Such formative powers were explained by Reverend Edward Thring, Headmaster of Uppingham school as "The learning to be responsible and independent, to bear pain, to play the game, to drop rank, and wealth, and some luxury". He declared enthusiastically that "it is this which has made the English such an adventurous race; and that with all their faults... the public schools are the cause of this 'manliness"'. 48.
Dr. Almond of Loretto school, Edinburgh, delivered a sermon entitled, "The Conservation of the Body" in Christ the Protestant and other Sermons (Blackwood 1899 pp 150-151). His concept of a public schoolboy produced by public schools such as his was:
"wholesome and manly, carrying the hammer of the cross to distant lands, and with strong arm, iron will and earnest purpose winning Christian victories among the natives..."
Homoerotic writing and misogyny combine in the aesthetic of the sub genre of Victorian adventure fiction. Rudyard Kipling's The Light That Failed appears to exalt Dick Heldar's masculinity and applauds a type of anti-feminism on Kipling's part. The excessive masculinity of the three painters, Dick Heldar, Torpenhow, and the strangely named Nilghai, is seen as a counter-weight to the female characterisation which demonstrates largelya proud selfcentredness. Maisie is a young woman with an unnatural heart who will not forego her desire for success as an artist to be the happy wife and mother which conventional plots demand. On the night that Dick becomes blind male togetherness replaces the need for acute sympathy and understanding by the heroine. Whilst the need to touch and hold is overpowering, there still remains, paradoxically, a military tone to the relationship which later proves fatal:
"Lie down. It's all over now."
Yes,' said Dick obediently. 'But would you mind letting me hold your hand? I feel as if I wanted something
to hold on to. One drops through the dark so.'
Torpenhow thrust out a large and hairy paw from the long chair. Dick clutched it tightly, and in half an hour had fallen asleep. Torpenhow withdrew his hand, and, stooping over Dick, kissed him lightly on the forehead, as men do some-times kiss a wounded comrade in the hour of death to ease his departure." 49.
The portrait of the red-haired girl in "The Light that Failed" does afford the occasional glimpse of a more substantial human being, as she compassionately proposes marriage to Dick after his blindness. Yet the red-haired girl is not allowed a role as an emergingly liberated woman with rights and feelings commensrate with her status in what purported to be an emergingly liberal and democratic society. Dick, Torpenhow and Nilghai are all given to misogynistic attacks. Denying that a woman can be "a piece of one's life", Torpenhow states that she cannot be and makes the astonishing claim that a woman is capable of sending round "five notes a day to ask why the dickens you haven't been wasting your time with her". In his invented 'Song of the Sea', Torpenhow, incomprehensibly, claims that men, in paying their farewells to their wives as they take to the boats, would compare them unfavourably with their salty first love and appears to believe, unfeelingly, that the women still sleep more soundly in their beds in the menfolk's absence:
"Ye that love us, can ye move us?
She is dearer than ye;
And your sleep will be the sweeter
Said The Men of the Sea."
When womenfolk are to be 'Other', that is other than normal, the choice falls either on a 'Yellow Tina' or on a Cuban Jewish Afro-American. Women are usually shown in opposition to the life of action and adventure in which they cannot, as in normal life, partner men. Mothers are a source of blame for the events which occur to men in the hurly burly of life. Torpenhow has to be sent away, drunk, from the attentions of the prostitute, Bessie, and in Kipling's aesthetic the true artist is always male; the unsuccessful, grey-clad artist, Maisie, a figure of failure and a rejecter of suitors out of mean close spiritedness.
Not all of Kipling's portraits paint a picture of women which could be considered misogynistic. The highly acclaimed Without Benefit of Clergy, as Sandra Kemp discovered in her preparatory reading for the very useful study Kipling's Hidden Narratives, 50. does not engage in such malfeasance, and is rather sensitive about the female in general.
Turning again to the question of sensitivity towards the male, in antiquity a distinction was made by the Greeks between the love between males as being divine or idyllic, thus related to the gods, and the actions between males which we term homosexual, in the sense of physical, bodily intercourse between two people of the same gender as being lewd, carnal and base.
Platonic discourses deal with the traditional questions of the relation between the loved boy and the master. However, in the final pages of the Symposium there is a reversal of roles whereby the master becomes the subject of the attentions of Alcibiades,(sic) Charmides, Euthydemus and others. They chase after him and attempt to seduce him but what they do not realise is that So-crates is submitting them to a test in a game called Eros. What is revealed by the test is that they love Socrates only to the extent by which he is able to resist their advances. This means that he is moved by the power of true love. His powers are those of physical endurance, the ability to resist sensations, and the power of extra physical sensory perception. These powers ensure the domination Socrates is able to maintain over himselfand thereby enable him to lead the boy to the knowledge of truth.
We have, later, in Spenser's "Shephearde's Calender" in a glossary to the month of January, a definition of the difference between love of a man's soul or being as opposed to carnal, lewd, bodily contact between men :
"In thys place seemeth to be some sauour of disorderly love, which the learned call paederastice; but it is gathered beside his meaning. For who that hath red Pluto his dialogue called Alcybiades Xenophon and Maximus Tyrius of Socrates opinions, may easily perceive, that such loue is muche to be alowed and liked of, specially so meant, as Socrates vsed it: who sayth, that in deede he loued Alcybiades extremely, yet not Alcybiades person, but hys soule, which is Alcybiades owne selfe. And so is paederastice much to be praeferred to before gynerastice, that is the loue whiche enflameth men with lust toward woman kind. But yet let no man thinke, that herein I stand with Lucian or hys deuilish disciple Vnico Aretino, in defence of execrable and horrible sinnes of forbidden and vnlawful fleshlinesse. Whose abominable errour is fully confuted of Peronius and others." 51.
The emergence of a homosocial sub-culture before the Restoration period is recorded by Allan Bray in "Homosexuality in Renaissance England" where he shows that there was oppression of male homosexuality before the late seventeenth century and, indeed pograms against homosexual men after 1675:
"It is not that homosexuality was more fiercely disapproved of. There is no evidence whatsoever of any absolute increase in hostility to homosexuality... The change is not absolute but rather in the extent to which people actually came up against that hostility; and the reason for the change is not in the hostility but in its object. There was now a continuing culture to be fixed on and an extension of the area in which homosexuality could be expressed and thereforie recognised; clothes, gestures, language, particular buildings and particular public places - all could be identifed as having specifically homosexual connotations." 52.
Indeed, Walt Whitman explores the difference between the louche practice of manly genital homosexuality and the idea of male coquetry with John Addington Symonds where he replies to the query on "exactly what he means by 'Calamus' and whether, in his propagation of the gospel of comradeship, he has taken into account the physical aspects of manly 1ove." His reply to Symonds was "violently reactionary - is strong and brutal for no, no, no". His final reply:
"that the calamus part has been allow'd the possibility of such construction as mentioned is terrible - I am fain to hope themselves are not to be even mention'd for such gratuitous and quite at the time entirely undream'd & unreck'd possibility of morbid inferences - wh'are disavow'd by me and seems damnable." 53.
This quotation has proved to be a long lasting Anglo-American definition of attitude to male homosexuality.
Andre Gide's profoundly libertarian approach to the question of homosexuality as propounded by Jean-Paul Sartre in his dialogues with Simone de Beauvoir in Adieux 54. appears to be nonchalantly prosaic about the contacts made:
"For example, I remember Gide talking to me about a Dutchman who had come to ask him for an address... He was a married man who found that he had homosexual inclinations and he came to ask me about all this, and you would have said he took me for a pederast in spite of the mistake I had made in speaking of advice, whereas it was a question of something else.
De Beauvoir: "You said to him, "Did he come to ask you for advice?" and Gide replied,"No! For addresses."
When it came to a mandate to enforce propriety in the arguably humorous situation of British bell tent night life Basil Henriques, in a manual on club leadership, was sure of his ground:
"Every responsible leader has to be alert for any signs of homosexual tendencies in his voluntary helpers. By the very nature of things, such men are often extremely popular with the boys. If the leader has the slightest suspicion of it, he must get the man out. He dare not wait until it is too late. The utmost tact has to be exerted, especially as the leader may be wrong in his surmise. When, however, there are grounds for suspicion, he must quite openly forbid the helper from entering the club or having any correspondence with any of the members. It may even be necessary to threaten further action if his wishes are not implicitly complied with.
After all, the duty of the leader is to train his helpers even as he tries to train his members." 55.
Shame be to he who evil there thinks, and yet...as Terry Eagleton has pointed out in "Literary Theory", (Oxford 1983), it is possible to read rules and regulations in differing ways. The prosaic, pedestrian notices placed near a London Underground escalator, eg "Dogs must be carried on the escalator", are open to ambiguity by only a modicum of thought; to take a different example from Eagleton's, "Stand on the Right", could perhaps be a political slogan, an exhortation to keep to traditional values, an indication that there is a place on one side to hang one's hat, or arguably the means of preventing any ascension by travellers at all: Basil Henriques' pristine, diamond like quality of moral force is open to reinterpretation if only a slight note of ambiguity is interjected, as the Ealing Film industry's productions will testify. Rules and regulations for human conduct are traditionally flaunted in liberal, democratic society on all sides while Henriques' attempts to legislate on and codify matters of the utmost privacy now seem embarrassing.
Footnotes and References.
1. Quoted in R L Green Andrew Lang (Leicester 1946).
2. The World's Desire, H Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang,(London, 1890).
3. ibid. p. 25 (Macmillan edition).
4. ibid. p. xii.
5. W E Henley, Lyra Heroica, (London, 1906), an anthology of poetry for boys which does not fail to include his own imperialistic efforts at verse making.
6. The World's Desire, (London, 1890).
7. R L Stevenson, quoted in P B Ellis, Rider Haggard from Haggard, The Days of My Life also Norfolk Registry Ms. 4692/18.
8. Andrew Lang and Rider Haggard, The World's Desire.(London, 1890) p. 177, Macmillan edition.
9. Lang, quoted in R L Green, Andrew Lang.
10. Lang, letter quoted in R L Green, Andrew Lang.
11. Lang, letter quoted in R L Green.
12. Wayne Kostenbaum's highly fetched Double Talk'(NewYork, 1989) is an interesting, but unconvincing attempt to relate the doubled nature of Lang and Haggard to actual texts. It concentrates on vocabulary rather than criticism.
13. Lang and Haggard, The World's Desire p. 140, (MacmillanEdition).
14. H Rider Haggard, Ayesha, 1905.
15. H Rider Haggard, She Dover Publications, (New York,1951) p. 118.
16. Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968).
17. Carl Jung, The Integration of the Personality, (1939), pp.24, 78-80.
18. Academy XXXI, January 15, 1887 pp. 35-36. Athenaeum, LXXIX, January, 1887, quoted in M Cohen, Rider Haggard p. 101.The Critic X. (February 12, 1887) quoted in M Cohen, p. 102.
19. Lang and Haggard, She, Dover edn., p. 230.
20. She Dover edn., p. 78.
22. She Dover edn., p. 238.
23. She, Dover edn., p. 238.
24. Amazons and Warrior Women, (Brighton, 1981), an interesting look at seventeenth century literary female gender stereotyping.
25. Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke "The Remains" (Oxford,1965).
26. Tennyson, In Memoriam (LXIV 13-16).
27. William Emest Henley, Lyra Heroica see footnote 5.
28. R. Ellison, Oscar Wilde (London, 1989).
29. H Rider Haggard, Alan Quatermain (London, 1877).
30. Martin Seymour-Smith Kipling, (Queen Anne Press, 1989).
31. Yves Hevouet, The French Face of Joseph Conrad,(Cambridge, 1990). Yves Hervouet in Conradia. A Journal of Joseph Conrad Studies.Vol. XIV, No. 1, (Lubbock, Texas 1982). Letter to Davray, the translator of The Secret Agent, 1910. A Cedric Watts in A Preface to Conrad, 1982.
32. J McKenzie, Imperialism and Popular Culture, (London,1987).
33. Letter to Dr Conland 25 to 29 March, 1987. HoughtonLibrary.
34. Letter to Stanley Weyman - quoted in Kipling Journal144, 1962.
35. Rupert Hart-Davis, Hugh Walpole (London, 1952).
36. See that delightful little book Clubland Heroes by Richard Usborne, (London, 1953) for an informative discussion on Domford Yates, Buchan and "Sapper".
37. Montgomery Hyde, Henry James at Home (London, 1969).
38. Peter Keating, The Haunted Study, (London, 1989).
39. John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, (London, 1878).
40. C S Lewis, The Inner Ring in They Asked for a Paper.(London, 1962).
41. W B Yeats Autobiography ed. Denis Donaghue (London,1972).
42. Martin Seymour Smith Kipling (Queen Anne Press, 1989).
43. J Ruskin, The Mystery of Life and its Arts under the general title of Sesame and Lilies in Rosenberg, The Genius of John Ruskin. (N.Y. 1963).
44. John Betjeman, Summoned by Bells (London, 1960).
45. J Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies p. 107 (London, 1871).
46. John Boswell, "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality," (Chicago, 1980. pp. 28-29).
47. D Newsome, Godliness and Good Learning. Four Studies on a Victorian Ideal. (London, 1961, p. 216). 3
48. Reverend Edward Thring, Headmaster, Uppingham School, quoted in Ronald Hyam, Empire and Sexuality, The British Experience (Manchester, 1990) "The sexual structures they (the men in charge) encountered or created or adapted have to be built integrally into the imperial picture if it is to be in any sense a true one. The empire was as much a system of prostitution networks as it was (in Kipling's famous phrase) a web of submarine cables."
49. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's seminal Between Men, (Columbia,1985), is a sensitive and extremely delicate examination of the nature of male homosocial desire.
50. Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality. Volume II "The Care of the Self." (New York, 1985).
51. Edmund Spenser The Shepheardes Calender, Glossary to the month of January.
52. Alan Bray Homosexuality in Renaissance England quotedin Eve Sedgwick Between Men.
53. Traubel, With Walt Whitman, I. 76 and Miller Whitman,V, 72-73 quoted in Between Men.
54. Simone de Beauvoir, Adieux, Harmondsworth, 1981.
55. Basil Henriques, Club Leadership (Oxford, 1933) p. 135.49
Chapter 2. The Aesthetics of Imperial Fiction.
At a time in Victorian England when the romance and the adventure novel were still thought of as worthy of serious attention by both writers and critics in books, newspapers, joumals, periodicals and reviews, there arose a genre of fiction which would create for itself a brand new niche in the minds of ther eading public. In the late eighteen-seventies and eighties, in order to satisfy a demand by a newly voracious reading public created by rising standards of education, with new markets being formed to meet that demand, a genre of literature emerged which appealed to the thirst of the new mass of readers released into literacy by the 1870 Education Act arising from, in the main, the middle and university classes, for novels of adventure and romance. With new, vibrant media being established, partly due to the abolition of the stamp tax and of the duties on paper encouraging the development of the presses, the invention of the circulating libraries, and partly also as a result of the signifcant expansion of market forces, the requirements of, on the one hand, a group receiving higher education and, on the other, a commercially minded populace were now being attended to.
Writers such as Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang, Robert Louis Stevenson, and to some extent John Buchan, promoted a grossly deviant genre which, subsuming itself within the service of empire, fulfilled the needs of this reading public in a collaborative and commercialised form. A genre serving ideals of boyhood, misogynistic, focusing largely on heroism, heroics, chivalry, and on boys and the public school ethos, and dedicated to adventure, action and quest, quickly became the best selling fictional form available to the Victorian and Edwardian public.
It was a genre of epic style which Haggard and Lang and later, Stevenson were to abuse, in the sense that these stories were an abuse of an already established form. They were to be written about heroes of battle and empire, strongly political and historical images for an epoch which they thought Queen Victoria had feminised, if not desexualised. These authors set about producing new forms; the masculine novel of action and the romance genre which, harking back to Virgil's Aenid, the odes of Odysseus, The Iliad, full of classical illusions, ancient histories, and references to Greek, Roman, Phoenician, Sabean, Trojan and Egyptian heroes, battles, and stories, they wanted to be a recreation of a well established yet little remembered aesthetic to revitalise romance and rekindle the myths and legends that Lang, particularly, loved.
The manful and man-centred genre, with empire as a kind of kaleidoscopic Ruritania, emphasised the spiritual headiness of Imperial work which could be the trail of glory for younger, less mature readers to follow. With a love of African vistas, land, pampas, plains, jungles, countryside and open spaces on the edge of darkness, the genre was a focus for boys' imaginations starved, it might be said, by life in the Victorian cities, in a society increasingly less vital, free, and energetic, and more domesticated, female-dominated and hidebound, which became an unquestioned and righteous mission of freedom, defying rational explanation.
Its emotional focusing on boys in a fiction engaged in a rhetoric of male chauvinism and paternalism with romantic assertions of masculinity was a key feature of the genre. In a form in which writers such as Lang and Haggard, Haggard and Kipling, James and Stevenson, Stevenson and Osbome worked together, there was a sense of unreality between the events they depicted and what was being enacted in their imaginations. The passions behind these collaboratively and aggressively homoerotic bondings are a subject for intensive study, for it was at the hearth of British patriarchy that Haggard, Stevenson and Lang propounded the fictional aesthetic of the adventure genre - the clubland where the romance novels of action and quest were written.
The masculine novel of action and the romance form were anattempt by male writers to create a fictional form which would fully engage with reality, which Stevenson refers to in his essays as an idea; a reality that would be stronger and, arguably, more worthwhile than either the murder filled naturalism of the Zola school with its arguably pseudo-scientic programme or the specialised kind of higher class psychological realism to be found in James' short novels. It was a reaction, as well, against the heterosexual romance of courtship, manners and marriage written by women writers such as George Eliot, whom Stevenson called, "A high, but, may we not add? - a rather dry lady."
Andrew Lang, writing in the Contemporary Review in November, 1887, highlighted the double nature of fiction. He held it was "a shield with two sides, the silver and the golden, the study of manners and of character, on one hand; on the other the description of adventure, the delight of romantic narrative." l. In 1887 George Saintsbury, Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang issued manifestos on behalf of romance. Lang wrote a poem which hailed both Haggard and Stevenson, extolling them as saviours from South Africa and Scotland who brought the debilitated and exhausted King Romance back to life:
King Romance was wounded deep
All his knights were dead and gone
All his court was fallen on sleep.
In the vale of Avalon!
Then you came from south and north
From Tugela, from the Tweed;
Blazoned his achievements forth
King Romance is come indeed! 2.
Since Haggard and Stevenson were its chivalrous courtiers, King Romance could now be resuscitated and revived in a form of fiction written by two men which allowed it to achieve its orgasmic glory once again.
Andrew Lang, writing in the Contemporary Review, 3. under the title "Realism and Romance" explained that "any clever man or woman may elaborate a realistic novel according to the rules" but claimed rather dashingly, yet somewhat quaintly that "romance bloweth where she listeth". These intimidating and outspoken claims to restore romance to what was, after all, an established genre of fiction, whose content could be seen elsewhere, tend to illustrate the notion prevalent at that time - the late 1880s - of the hidebound nature of realism and the opportunities which romance offered for the presentation of the myths and fables of the Arthurian legends, and the homosocial "romance" of adventure and quest in a "new" form or genre of basically imperial fiction.
Lang's aesthetic was stimulated by an interest in commemorating the deeds of long dead heroes. He had what R Lancelyn Green calls "a reverence for noble deeds and heroic action". In Essays in Little in 1891, and Essays in Literature in 1892, he reserved praise for the kind of literature he described as "heroic, Viking-like, masterly, stoical or athletic". Small wonder Lang wrote stories of fable and myth based on the lives of Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot and Lady Morgan le Fay. The Arthurian figure of romanticism was one of many facets: warrior, king, wise man, leader and even more, perhaps he represents part of the British psyche - that of the terrible avenger. Significantly, he lies sleeping. If he did exist, as Lang appeared to believe, then it is likely that he was a British chieftain of the sixth century A D who had become Romanised. After the Romans left Britain, Arthur fought the native tribes along the length of Hadrian's Wall.
On a related theme, George Saintsbury wrote in the Fortnightly Review 4. an article entitled "The Present State of the Novel" that drew on the imagery of health and sport to claim that, " the current malaise will not be cured til we have bathed once more long and well in the romance of adventure and of passion."
W E Henley, who had recalled that "there were no more stories to be told, that romance was utterly dried up", 5. thought that Stevenson and Haggard with his "Zulu divinities" and "queens of beauty in the caves of Kor" had rescued literature from the arid "analysis of character" and made it alive again. Both in his own poetry and in editorials Henley supported the "romance of imperialism". His personal work is replete with heroism, chivalry, courage, and contains a sense of a shared symbolism between these notions and imperialism.
It was the imperial explorer or intrepid adventurer into the desert unknown who formed the heroic basis for the fictional form which became known as the romance, a term with a long history of a genre all of its own. This masculine form of the romance, its adherents believed, "tapped universal, deep rooted,' primitive' aspects of human nature which the realists could not approach" 6. These aspects, I would contend, were ones which included strong, covert, if not overt feelings of homoeroticism, in work conceming boyhood and the male myth of a work of art as a product of male bonding and inspiration quite independent of female assistance and participation.
Writing for boys meant not writing for girls. Stevenson's novels did not contain even the shadow of a lady in them. By holding aloft Henley's imperial sword of Romance he, arguably, held at bay the girl or woman reader, who had been induced to readership by such agencies as popular journalism and Mudie's circulating libraries. Women were, moreover, almost totally disqualified from being the critics of masculine romance, because as Andrew Lang wrote revealingly to Haggard about the reviews which had been published of King Solomon's Mines: "the dam(n) reviewers were never boys - most of them the Editors' nieces." 7. Furthermore, a female reviewer of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde expressed astonishment that "no woman's name occurs in the book, no romance is ever suggested in it". 8. Additionally, the critic Alice Brown wrote that, "Mr Stevenson is a boy who has no mind to play with girls." She was certainly correct in so far as the characterisation and plot of Treasure Island are concerned.9
The romance form as a new type of genre provided, in various ways, an escape route from a society which confined and constricted the Victorian male. It was a society rigidly classified in terms of gender roles, classes and races; there existed repression and excessive respectability - witness for example the antimacassars, starched collars and shirt fronts, the sexual hypocrisy and concealed emotions of the period. So often these writers sought an escape to a mythical place where men could be men, and essentially free. But it ought to be remembered that, because it was a hypocritical society, prostitution and crime were an outlet for such repressions, too. In the fabled city of Zimbabwe, on the endless plains of Afghanistan, or the Southern Africa or Congo Free State locales of these stories, the authors of Romance could explore their own libidos in a desert place such as the Heart of Darkness, the Lost Mines of Solomon or the Treasure Island. For the writers of Romance these locales represented an unexplored dark continent, or a mysterious Eastern land, or an imaginary island where they could escape the dreariness and oppression and, arguably, the domestication of life in Victorian England. Such destinations were a free space, a blank on an, as yet, undrawn (or, at least, uncompleted) map which is usually in Africa or Asia, on a limitless plain or plateau, or, at worst, an Eastern place uninhabited by white people because, after all, they were in search of mythical tribes, adventurous playgrounds and outlandish places in which to act out their inhibitions in a foreign setting.
The structures of the romances provided, according to Norman Etherington:
"a safe arena where late-Victorian readers could approach subjects that were ordinarily taboo."
and, as I shall argue, including homosociality. 10. Fearing that one day when "the ancient mystery of Africa will have vanished", Haggard enquires, concemed as to where the fate of the male imagination lies: "where will the romance writers of future generations find a safe and secret place... in which to lay their plots?" ll.
Another critic, J H Shorthouse, the author of John Inglesant, elaborated in its Introduction his ideal of a combination of philosophy with real life:
Human life, as revealed to most of us, does not arrange itself...in elaborate plot. ...If fiction, therefore, is allowed to select and condense from life, surely Philosophy may do so too... If we fail in combining real life and philosophy with sufficient vraisemblance, the failure be upon our own head.
Taking part in this debate, Shorthouse wanted to see a unity between fiction and philosophy so that etemal truths about mankind could be conveyed effectively to a philistine age. He wanted to see a literary hybrid which was not so much high comedy as a new development of historical fiction to be known as 'philosophical romance'. He was loosely in favour of the fundamental methods enshrined in realism so long as it was imbued with a romantic spirit:
"Yes, it is only a romance," he announced, "It is only the ivory gate falling back at the fairy touch. It is only the leaden sky breaking for a moment above the bowed and weary head, revealing the fathomless Infinite through the gloom.12. Such heightened rhetoric may only have served to emphasise what was, undoubtedly, the flighty and idealistic nature of romance.
In a wide-ranging survey of the genre by Peter Keating he noted four main types of romance stories which were in existence: the philosophical, the scientific, the detective, and the imperial adventure, but it is the latter with which this present study is concemed and, in particular, how the writers, in doubled roles, subsumed themselves to the service of empire and made fortunes from it. The contemporaneous and dominant type of historical romance was a rather nebulous genre of exciting episodes and quasi-historical events that descended at second hand from Stevenson, through Conan Doyle, despite his own claims to preeminence in historical portraiture, and through Rider Haggard. Keating's list ignores, however, the Gothic and he skips over very lightly the scientific romances of writers, such as H G Wells, with which we are concemed in a later chapter, which tackle the subjects of imperialism, gender, racism and evolution.
A theory of literary structures or modes has been established by Northrop Frye 13. which included the romantic as one of its'narrative categories'. In Frye's scheme there were three stages of romance which were: firstly, a joumey to a land waiting to be worked, a crucial struggle against superior odds, and, lastly, an exaltation of the hero. In terms of the masculine novel of action, the heroes would clearly encounter some civilisation or place remote from the domestic and the civilised, and in meeting this challenge they would perform a series of actions, which would not completely discountenance them, by which they would surmount all odds through the exhibition of courage, fortitude,strength, leadership and persistence.
Northrop Frye gives in his essay on "Rhetorical Criticism" n Anatomy of Criticism 14. an important definition of the difference between the novel and the romance form. He explains that:
the essential difference between novel and romance lies in the concept of characterization. The romance does not attempt to create "real people" so much as stylized figures which expand into psychological archetypes. It is in the romance that we find Jung's libido, anima, and shadow reflected in the hero, heroine, and villain respectively. That is why romance so often radiates a glow of subjective intensity that the novel lacks, and why a suggestion of allegory is constantly creeping around its fringes.
Haggard's vision of romance was perhaps more prosaic, viewing it as a painstaking, stoic, workmanlike, and strictly money-making task:
It should, in my judgment, be swift, clear and direct, with as little padding and as few trappings as possible. The story is the thing, and every word in the book should be a brick to buildi ts edifice. Above all no obscurity should be allowed. Let the characters be definite, even at the cost of a little crudeness, and so with the meaning of each sentence. Tricks of "style" and dark allusions may please the superior critic; they do not please the average reader, and - though this seems to be a fact that many forget, or only remember to deplore - a book is written that it maybe read. 15.
So, too, is a catalogue or a directory, but such pronouncements on the romance style are typically colourless. His romance characters are frequently lacking it may be said in features, like a face without eyes, ears and a nose. If a book was to be no more than something which was read then the author was arguably doing little more than writing for the financial success- indeed Haggard became the highest paid writer in Edwardian times.
Stevenson called for a mixture of both realism and idealism in the narrative. Appealing to the need for incident and action in the new romance novel, and despite the demands of fashion in the marketplace for fiction on the one hand, and what were seen to be the claims of normal narratives being produced by traditional, historically acceptable forms on the other, he claimed that technical method was paramount in the production of a good work of fiction. 16
There were two kinds of fictional method, the Realist and the Symbolist, by which are meant firstly the representation of the truth and secondly and opposingly, the mimetic quality of art. Stevenson's call for a blend of realism and idealism was a way forward for the romance novel. Conrad, too, in an acute, exacting definition endorsed the approach of vraisemblage, for he maintained, Peter Keating's wide ranging study of the sociologyof the market informs us, that the novel was nothing if not:
"a conviction of our fellow men's existence strong enough to take upon itself a form of imagined life clearer than reality and whose verisimilitude of selected episodes puts to shame the pride ofdocumentary history.' ' 17.
In the context of patriarchy, patronage, patemalism and privilege as well as clubland and homosociality, a debate raged between romance and realism. The passions arising from this basic tension clouded the central issue in this debate, aspiring as it did, to higher aims and values, a debate marked by a heated element which we will attempt to show was a screen for activities involving bonding, collaborative aesthetic endeavour and erotic writing. 18. In this controversy, which had its debating chamber at the Savile club, Haggard associated romance with a fundamental human instinct which is incapable of alteration in either barbarian or civilised societies:
"The love of romance is probably coeval with the existence of humanity. So far as we can follow the history of the world we find traces of its effects among every people, and those whoare acquainted with the habits and ways of thought of savage races will know that it flourishes as strongly in the barbarian as in the cultured brats. In short, it is like the passions, an innate quality of mankind. In modern England this love is not by any means dying out, as must be clear, even to that class of our fellow-countrymen who, we are told, are interested in nothing but politics and religion." 19.
Haggard went on to suggest with untypical abandon that
"with the exception of perfect sculpture, really good romance writing is perhaps the most difficult art practised by the sons of men." 20.
Yet it could be maintained, he egotistically suggested that
"none but a great man or woman can produce a really great work of fiction. But greatmen are rare, and great works are rarer still, because all great men do not write. I f, however, a person is intellectually a head and shoulders above his or her fellows, that person is prima facie fit and able to write a good work. Even then he or she may not succeed because in addition to intellectual pre-eminence a certain literary quality is necessary for the perfect flowering of the brain in books." 21.
Haggard also put the converse of the argument which could appear as a self-serving statement of his own ideas of his pre-eminence and one which calls into question his ambitions for political power and love of the trappings of statesmanship:
"The writer who can produce a noble and lasting work of art is, of necessity, a great man, and one who, had fortune opened to him any of the doors that lead to material grandeur and to the busy pomp of power, would have shown the imagination, the quick sympathy, the insight, the depth of mind, and the sense of order and proportion which went to constitute the writer would have equally constituted the statesman or the general."22.
Stevenson, in responding to the debate, discussed in "A Gossip on Romance" the novel of action which he wished would bean epic form that would act as a counterweight to the aesthetic being propounded by James, and others at the Savile. In his letter he suggested that he incorporate some of the dynamism and energy of Fielding into what Stevenson thought were his too domestic interiors. 23.
For Stevenson it was the fundamental power of incident and action that made for a good romance novel. His epistolary work A Humble Remonstrance, which appeared in Longmans Magazine, was a declaration of artistic intent on the narrative and is the axis of his disagreement with Henry James. James' article, which was itself a rejoinder to Walter Besant's, stressed the need for the air of reality; "the solidity of specification". He described the romance novel's:
capacity to represent at the expense of the novel's conventionality, its formal devices, its pursuit of singleness and relevance, its need to omit for the sake of harmony and coherence. 24.
In the romance genre, which is the subject of this survey, men such as Haggard and Stevenson doubled with others to write the masculine novel of action or search. What this search consisted of is the crucial interrogation to be made in this study. In many ways it consists of a yeaming to escape from the constricting environment in which these men found themselves. Search romances all involved a penetration into the imaginary centre or core (perhaps the reason for the naming of the caves of Kor, or possibly we could gloss it as Cor Blimey! an euphemism which carries the meaning "God blind me!") of an exotic civilisation. Whether it was the Armahaggar, the Lovedu tribe or the Transvaal, the Tibetan civilisation, the lost cities of Zimbabwe, the dark continent, or the heart of darkness, a search was involved to find such peoples and places.
The physical immensity of Africa and Asia is always apparent. Distance, too, is overcome by placing these locales in a "Dark Continent" or "Heart of Darkness", where the characters, moreover, meet numerous 'dark ladies' who are equated, by Haggard certainly, with the erotic sexuality of 'the black', to bring into the discussion the contemporaneous mid-Victorian jargon. The association of negritude with the erotic is a commonplace in European fiction, and also in pornography. Haggard presented the erotic as a normal part of the adventures. The present writer well recalls when only a schoolboy the prurient reactions of boys in the serried rows of grammar class to the explicit definition of the dimensions of Queen Sheba's breasts. Also a case in point was their reaction to Da Silva's blood-soaked letter - ie perhaps what could be construed as a menstrual letter - which on deconstruction implied to that pre-Structuralist generation menstruation and menstruating. The letter exactly states that the road to the mines is to be reached by a man climbing "the snows of Sheba's left breast till he reaches the nipple." 26.
Romance, then, is characterised by a separation from reality in a literary form in which elan vital and a vivacity for life and freedom are paramount. There is a sense of the geographical immensity of the textual locales in which they operate and there is also a mood of Britain and Britons reacting against the restrictions of time and place and size. The reaction against time is often overcome by making the characters such as Ulysses in The World's Desire live again and Helen, the goddess, survive death by fire. Leo Vincey in She is a reincarnation of the ancient priest, Kallikrates. History and time are overcome by a plasticity which allows Haggard, and others, to surmount restrictions.
There is an anxiety inherent in the Victorian age which this fictional form attempts to alleviate. Not only was the Victorian age one of enormous social problems, but there were class, financial and imperial anxieties which permeated life between1830 and 1901. The adventure tales, committed as they were to action rather than analysis, were able, by virtue of their adventurousness, to overcome fears of safety, social standing and poverty.
There is always a tendency to myth and allegory in romance works which can be seen particularly in The Ancient Allen, Eric Brighteyes and When the World Shook. Icelandic men, according to Lang, were fearless and "the best of soldiers, laughing at death and torture like the Zulus who are a kind of black Vikings of Africa." 27. Haggard's reverence for the Zulus, whom he had fought in the Transvaal, was clear and is exemplied in the texts in many episodes where warrior-like men with a strong and independent culture had much to offer the west.
The sagas had come into Haggard's orbit aptly through Lang's encouragement, and also through Haggard's journey to Iceland. Haggard and Lang had researched these myths which had come into Anglo-Saxon literature by way of the Sacred Way, the amber routes of old. A favourite was the story of King Arthur whose mother, Ygeme, was reputed to be featured in a medieval comparison. Homer and Shakespeare are other sources for the tales recounted in the romance form. Menelaus features in the role of Paris, who won the love of Helen, and The Tempest is used, according to M Mannoni, as a springboard for the story of Prospero, Caliban and Ariel, whom Mannoni thinks are possibly the original precursors of imperial action and, positively the original characters for the embryo of the escape novel, Robinson Crusoe which recounts, says Mannoni "the long and difficult cure of a misanthropic neurosis". 28.
These island stories had their apogee in "The Tempest" and are adventure myths set in island places bounded only by the imagination, morality and unwritten law. They stand as symbols for the area of the imagination which a boy reader makes for himself - the isolation, the clear boundaries are part of the human limitation which the genre required. Their air is contrived, artificial, constrained: theirs the remoteness, imprisonment, convictdom of the unfree. Tools are their subject in hand, and this is their satisfaction. The Icelandic sagas had possibly survived in Iceland becauseof its remoteness and cultural integrity. Certain of these myths had been translated by William Morris who translated the Icelandic sagas in his own verse at the same time. He was part ofthe Bume-Jones circle of Pre-Raphaelite painters such as Mil-ais, President of the Royal Academy, whose well-known paintings of Bubbles and The Boyhood of Raleigh were a backdrop to the period. The Icelandic sagas had also been translated by Sweet whose Anglo-Saxon Primer was on the reading lists of undergraduates in recent years.
Another possible source of the sagas may have been the Ingoldsby Legends which Haggard refers to in Allan Quatermain. These were a spoof on other legends such as The Jackdaw ofReims, monologues which are sometimes recited today, by the Reverend R H Barnham, published in London in 1840.
Stevenson chided Haggard for his inaccurate reference to the Ingoldsby Legends in a letter to be seen in The Days of My Life. He scolds the reverend gentleman who was their author and demands to know:
"But how, in the name of literature, could you mistake some lines from Scott's 'Marmion' - ay, and, some of the best - for the slack-sided, clerical cob effusions of the Rev. Ingoldsby?" 29.
Replying Haggard pointed out that it was a 'literary joke' to have Allan Quatermain claim only to have known two works of literature - The Old Testament and the Ingoldsby Legends.
However, it was in character for Quatermain was neither erudite nor literary, although he did claim to have read 'a novel'.
It was the meeting of these myths and Science which Claude Levi=Strauss also discussed in his description of the "Meeting of Myth and Science". Claude Levi-Strauss tells how he turned his attention to myths and mythology. He made an interesting statement of the logic of mythology:
Mythical stories are, or seem, arbitrary, meaningless, absurd, yet nevertheless they seem to reappear all over the world. A 'fanciful' creation of the mind in one place would be unique - you would not find the same creation in a completely different place. My problem was trying to find out if there was some kind of order behind the apparent disorder. And I do not claim that there are conclusions to be drawn." 30
One conclusion might be that Haggard had a profound interest in mythology which stemmed right back to his visit to Egypt, and is a subject which might well be worthy of investigation in a separate study.
It may be opportune to consider the similarities in generic theme and content, which have arisen in this study, between Haggard and Conrad. Both works, She and Heart of Darkness, undoubtedly made a firm impression of male adventure at work. Both writers have, as we have seen, cast away on a search fora hidden heart or core (Kor?, coeur?) which would be the focus of their quest. Conrad actually talks of looking for "blank spaces on the earth", and when he saw one that looked inviting he would put his finger on it and say: "When I grow up I will go there. The North Pole was one of those places I remember." 31.
Leo Vincey, too decides to set out for remote parts and remarks that: "if I don't ?nd the 'rolling Pillar of Life', at any rate I shall get some first-class shooting." His uncle, Holly,whose idea it was originally, readily agrees: "Do you know, my boy, I don't believe in the quest, but I do believe in big game, and really on the whole, if, after thinking it over, you make up your mind to start, I will take a holiday and come with you." Although the idea of the author as synonymous with the text and, thereby, omnipotent, is problematic, Haggard and Conrad were arguably putting forward the same personal ideas in their male adventure texts. In both works the search for the hidden centre is by river to an enchanting destination. In both cases the steersman is killed by native activity along the river banks. In She Holly is surrounded by natives on the order of their queen:
"Four suns since was the word brought to me from "She-who-must-be-obeyed". Bring forth the men, and let that which they have with them be brought forth also."
"'Come!' said the men, half leading and half dragging me from the boat..." 32.
Subsequently, their boatman, Mahomed is "hot-potted", ie has a white-hot earthenware vessel placed on his head, causing an excruciatingly agonising death. In Conrad's novel, the pilgrims are killed by the natives on Kurtz's orders, perhaps another "gratification of his various lusts".
In both Conrad and Haggard a sense of the unapproachable density and mystery of Africa is present. In Heart of Darkness the manager says, "Mr Kurtz's knowledge of unexplored regions must have been necessarily extensive and peculiar..." 33. and Marlow, reporting the conditions under which her fiance was living, repeats the manager's words to the Intended:
"I assure you that, never before did this land, this river, this jungle, the very arch of this blazing sky appear to me so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness." 34.
In Haggard's novel there is the sense of pushing up hundreds of miles into an unknown interior, passing through a region of almost endless bogs where: "the best thing to do would be to lie down to die in that dreadful wilderness of swamp." 35. Haggard indicates that, "lt was an awful position bitterly I cursed my folly in having become a party to such a mad undertaking". In both Haggard and Conrad the heroes are two men who seem to possess a remarkable admiration and feeling for each other. In She, Leo and Holly, although foster uncle and nephew, like Stevenson and Lloyd Osboume, share a remarkable devotion and intimacy and in Heart of Darkness the manager and Kurtz became, it transpires, extremely close, even talking of love:
"They had come together unavoidably, like two ships becalmed near each other, and lay rubbing sides at last. ...'We talked of everything,' he said quite transported at the recollection. 'I forgot there was such a thing as sleep. The night did not seem to last an hour. Everything! Every-thing! ...Of love too."' 35.
Homosociality fraught with danger, death and in texts located in a foreign setting. The very stuff of imperial philosophy and fiction.
In both romances characters take part in secret rites. In Haggard the Amahagger ("Amahaggard"?) are taking part in a ceremony in a country where Haggard explains: "they followed the customs of the early Christians." (p. 63) It tums out to be a primitive form of wedding ceremony, for it is here that Leo becomes betrothed to Ustane, the Amahagger beauty. Kurtz is a solitary witness of, at worst, cannibalism and, at best, a form of naked native life dance, which had convinced Marlow that that was what had instinctively driven Kurtz: out to the edge of the forest, to the bush, towards the gleam of fires, the throb of drums, the drone of weird incantations.
Kurtz is encountered in the forest during the rites of an African witchdoctor and what Marlow witnessed as he travelled down river with the dying Kurtz were the rites of some weird molestation, of an ecstatic energy which was only dimly understood:
...they faced the river, stamped their feet, nodded their homed heads, swayed their scarlet bodies; they shook towards the fierce river-demon a bunch of black features, a mangy skin with a pendant tail - something that looked like a dried gourd; they shouted periodically together strings of amazing words that resembled no sounds of human language; and the deep murmurs of the crowd, interrupted suddenly, were like the responses of some satanic litany. 36.
Holly witnesses the cursing of Amenartas by Ayesha in She and also during the drama of the dance fetish spectacle Holly and the others see a barbaric scene of ritual slaughter:
"The Goat! the Goat! the Goat! Give me the blood of my black goat! I must have it, don't you see I must have it? Oh! oh! oh! give me the blood of the goat.
At this moment a terrified bah! announced that the poor animal had been sacrificed, and presently a woman ran up with a saucer full of the blood. This the possessed creature, who was then raving and foaming her wildest, seized and drank, and was instantly recovered, and without a trace of hysteria, or fits, or possession, or whatever dreadful thing it was from which she suffered. She stretched out her arms, smiled faintly, and walked back to the dancers, who then withdrew in a double line as they had come, leaving the space between us and the bonfire deserted." 37.
In She and Heart of Darkness both journeys are undertaken to meet a mysterious character in the heart of Africa. Marlow journeys to the Congo to find Kurtz who is an almost legendary figure, whilst Leo, Holly and Job travel to Africa to find a lost Kingdom with an immortal queen in a land peopled by a lost white tribe. The novels take shape in much the same way: they encounter their adversaries - in the case of Holly and the others it is the Armahagger, who surround their boat on the orders of' She', whilst in Conrad Kurtz orders the natives to attack the pilgrims and Marlow. In both works there is a sense of the mystery of Africa. 'She' is an immortal who lives in the ancient caves of Kor, in an inexpressibly ageless civilisation, while Marlow encounters in Africa a "prehistoric earth" which reminds him of "an earth that wore the aspect of an unknown planet".38.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, 39. is a parable of male sexual crisis. When the redoubtable Dr Jekyll needs a twin partner for his guileful personality, he creates an ambivalent sexual situation which some have taken to mean that the two men were lovers. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was conceived in a dream and Mrs Stevenson so trenchantly criticised the storyline in an early draft that he burnt it and then rewrote it. In this tale of male twinship, recognising that Stevenson was actively collaborating with another male writer, Dr Jekyll's double self is a mirror-image of Stevenson's own collaborative writing career.
In this much vaunted story the fear of death is one of the most moving forces; the fear a boy has for a man - such as the fear which Pip encountered in Great Expectations when confronted by the gigantic, unshaven, terrifying prison convict. The emotion may not be specifically a sexual one, but the reversal of sexual attraction is sexual disgust; there is in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde the incident 40. in which Hyde knocks down and tramples the little girl, as reported by the"well-known man about town", Mr Richard Enfield. Enfield takes an immediate dislike and loathing to Hyde:
"There is something wrong with his appearance;something downright detestable. I never saw a man I so disliked and yet I scarce know why." 41.
Despite the dramatically misogynistic symbolism of the attack upon the little girl, the natural fear and loathing of one man for another is the reverse of the coin of sexual attraction, and yet is a powerful force in the sub genre of psychological fiction for adults. Stevenson, in his essay on dreams 42. denies the help of "unseen collaborators" and claims that it was all his own work:
"Mine, too, is the setting, mine the characters...Will it be thought ungenerous, after I have been so liberally ladling out praise to my unseen collaborators, if I here toss them over, bound hand and foot...?"
He did not have the same misgivings about his overt collaboration with his stepson, Lloyd Osborne, with whom he collaborated over the production of four books. So, unaware that Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are one and the same man, one of the novel's characters, reluctant to become involved in the machinations of their twin characters, ventures this opinion: "the more it looks like Queer Street, the less I ask". 43. The reason for this supposition is that the doctor's anxious friends think that Mr Hyde has a liaison with Dr Jekyll and is now blackmailing him. Jekyll's colleagues call Hyde's office "Blackmail House". Jekyll and Hyde's intimacy might seem strange to new readers who have no knowledge of the plot, who could not, yet, know that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person, and who might assume that in view of Jekyll's "strange preference" for Hyde, and his unexplained "intimacy" that the two men are having a sexual relationship.
A further enervating example of the kind of misogynistic writing Stevenson employs in his murder fiction occurs when Mr Hyde attacks a completely innocent match-girl in public causing her to flee from her unnatural oppressor; behaviour which throws a light on the double nature of the character of Dr Jekyll:
"He walked fast, hunted by his fears, chattering to himself, skulking through the less frequented thoroughfares, counting the minutes that still divided him from midnight. Once a woman spoke to him, offering, l think, a case of lights. He smote her in the face, and she fled."
Random violence replaces the urging of "the war between the members" as is seen from the murder of Sir Danvers Carew,"an aged and beautiful gentleman with white hair". Hyde represents the lust and sensuality of the lower parts of man -whilst Dr Jekyll, as he pours out his potion, is that respectable and perhaps higher class individual whose "profound duplicity of life" is soon revealed in the tale. The contemporaneity of this story with the development of sexual case studies by Krafft-Ebbing is a case in point. The debate which was engendered evolved around the question whether sexual perversion is inherited (congenitalism) or is acquired (environmentalism). In Krafft-Ebing's terms life is seen as 'a never-ceasing' duel between the animal instinct and morality. 44. The depiction of Hyde in this form is Stevenson's concept of the higher of the moral man and lower of the animal that the human being contains; the elemental stage of the higher being into which it develops. In Stevenson's literary terminology the animal in man lies only barely hidden beneath the surface and in the shape of 'the beast Hyde' is, in the author's scientific vocabulary, 'ape-like'. Hyde is foreign and strange with 'his gentleman's clothes flapping off him'... ('this ludicrous accoutrement was far from moving me to laughter.') He rushes across his yard, he steals through the corridors, singularly careful to avoid the public gaze. Delighting in the sensations of becoming Hyde, Jekyll is "suddenly aware that (I) had lost in stature". The evil side of (my) nature, to which I had now transferred the stamping efficacy, was less robust and less developed than the good which (I) had just deposed.
The story starts with the exclusion of a woman, which is a condition of a questioning of a man and also its limitation, the specifics of difference are pulled back into general themes. The title itself is misleading - "Strange tale". The beast Hyde is portrayed in Darwinian terms and reflects the crucial question of the time, was man an animal? And what to do with women? The damn business of "the war between the members". From the outset many critics have remarked on the maleness, even the monasticism of the story. 45.
Literary criticism on the subject by Lang was first published in the "Saturday Review" of 9 January, 1886 pp. 55-56.
No woman appears in the tale (as in"Treasure Island"), and we incline to think that Mr Stevenson always does himself most justice in novels without a heroine. It may be regarded by some critics as a drawback to the tale that it inevitably disengages a powerful lesson in conduct. It is not a moral allegory, of course, but you cannot help reading the moral into it, and recognising that, just as every one of us, according to Mr Stevenson, travels through life with a donkey (as he himself did in the Cevennes), so every Jekyll among us is haunted by his own Hyde. But it would be most unfair to insist on this, as there is nothing a novel-reader hates more than to be done good to unawares. Nor has Mr Stevenson, obviously, any didactic purpose. The moral of the tale is its natural soul, and no more separable from it than, in ordinary life, Hyde is separable from Jekyll. While one is thrilled and possessed by the horror of the central fancy, one may fail, at first reading, to recognise the delicate and restrained skill of the treatment of accessories, details and character. Mr Utterson, for example, Jekyll's friend, is an admirable portrait, and might occupy a place unchallenged among pictures by the best masters of sober action.
It is fair to add that, while the style of the new romance is usually as plain as any style so full of compressed thought and incident can be, there is at least one passage in the threshold of the book where Mr Stevenson yields to his old Tempter "preciousness". Nay, we cannot restrain the fancy that, if the good and the less good of Mr Stevenson's literary personality could be divided like Dr Jekyll's moral and physical personality, his literary Mr Hyde would greatly resemble - the reader may fill in the blank at his own will. The idea is capable of development. Perhaps Canon McColl is Mr Gladstone's Edward Hyde, a solution of historical problems which may be applauded by future generations. This is wandering from the topic in hand. It is pleasant to acknowledge that the half page of "preciousness" stands almost alone in this excellent and horrific and captivating romance, where Mr Stevenson gives us of his very best and increases that debt of gratitude we all owe him for so many and such rare pleasures. 46.
The story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is dedicated to a woman, Katherine De Mattos with a snatch of verse which bemoans the loss of childhood and of homeland:
It's ill to loose the bonds that God decreed to bind;
Still will we be the children of the heather and the wind.
Far away from home, O it's still for you and me
That the broom is blowing bonnie in the north countrie.
In his aim to rescue the novel from the bedroom and the boudoir Stevenson employs an alternative form which, collaboratively and aggressively homoerotic, evoked those places in an amended form. His attempt to fashion an aesthetic of exotic and heated adventure stories is seen as that of an erotically imaginative writer with one eye on the financial implications. In his collaborative efforts with his stepson, Lloyd Osbome, he concentrated his attention on fiction for boys in a genre which introduces homosocial desire under the guise of boyish escapism.
It is the question of the sense of fantasies beneath the surface of respectability and the claims of homosexuality which surrounded clubland that permeates this study, the near hysteria which surrounded the emotions which arose from the bondings between men that constituted the other side of the presentable face of patriarchy. The fascination with the notion that beneath the professional exterior, something else lurked; the professional exterior of Dr Jekyll masked the beast of a repellant Hyde.
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde can be read as an allegory of late Victorian homosocial panic, the discovery and rejection of the idea of the homosocial self. But, more than that it is the issue of the sense of fantasies beneath the daytime decorum. It is the study of male hysterics over the revelation of the clubland homoeroticism.
Where then were the places enshrined in the critical heritage of the literature which form such an interesting, possibly haunted, backdrop to the stories and events this study is concemed in? And why, too, whilst looking for security was it in the countryside, as opposed to the city, that writers sought refuge, perhaps, paradoxically, finding there, as Raymond Williams has suggested, like in Hardy "the record of the great climacteric change in rural life: the disturbance and destruction of what one writer has called the 'timeless rhythm of agriculture and the seasons?"'
"Burwash has a pleasant High St., and a church with a Norman tower, Bateman's a 17c. ironmaster's house, was the home of Rudyard Kipling (d. 1936). Exhibits include his Nobel Prize citation (1907) the first time the award for literature was won by an Englishman," is how The Blue Guide to England (London,1920) edited by Stuart Rossiter, explains its significance.
Bateman's, at Burwash in rural, deepest Sussex, a magnificent mansion, purchased in 1902 for 9,300 pounds and a magnificent roomy mansion, set in a hollow, was the depressing, dank and remote abode of the Kiplings, Carrie, Rudyard, Elsie,and John for many years. However, its funereal gloom caused probably more by its location in a depression in some hills than by any psychological set of the Kiplings, was a factor to be accounted for in any analysis of the period of Kipling's life spent there.
Bateman's was built in the early seventeenth century from locally quarried stone. Its ivy covered enormity can be seen from contemporaneously taken plate photographs which show a huge mansion covered by a massive roof and which because of the elevation of the ground surrounding it, appears squat and low whereas it was built on three floors. In Kipling's most affectionate and revealingly emotional description of the environment of the mansion one gets a feel of its rural pleasures:
"You walk up to the porch over a stone-paved path laid down in the turf and the cart road runs within fifty yards of the front door. The rest is all fields and farms and to the southward one glorious sweep of woods." 47.
At the bottom of the garden was the river Dudwell, which provided ample opportunity for long, literary, walks along its banks. On buying the property, Kipling turned the old mill into an electrified generating house to supply power to the house in the event of breakdowns: always useful, too, in times of strikes by recalcitrant workers who needed to apply the industrial muscle of a stoppage of work in that corner of the Sussex Electricity Company.
As they removed from the heights of Rottingdean to Burwash the Kiplings experienced a few minor discomforts. Carrie's own diary shows that most of the tedious practicalities of moving into the new house were placed under her responsibility. Her diary entry confirms the frustrating and disagreeable nature o fthe removal days:
"Sept 3. Go to Bateman's to meet chaos andblack night. Hudson has not kept a single prom-ise and foreman of removers is drunk. Labourand struggle to keep things right. 4. A hopelessday. 5. Fought with workmen and cleaners allday long. A terrible day."
One wonders what the domestic servants and cleaning workers felt in those pre-syndicalist times.
But its overall atmosphere was one of gloom. Kipling often retreated into moods of acute depression, and a possible explanation was that, added to the loss of his son, John, in the year1915 during the early offensives of World War I, he experienced a sense of morbidity, and solemnity as a result of the dank, hollow location; its nestling in the bosom of the Sussex hills when, really at worst, Kipling needed, he felt, to be in the fresh air and sunshine of South Africa with Rhodes and Jameson, to pursue his international ambitions.
Rudyard was, according to local commentators, the place where Lockwood and Alice had become engaged to be married, and because of this was the romantic reason Rudyard Kipling was so uniquely named. His Christian name was given to him by his father, John Lockwood Kipling, who was a famous illustrator in his own right, working mostly in India, and by his mother, Alice, the sister of the brilliant, unruly Lady Bume-Jones of the family of artists connected with the Pre-Raphaelite school of art, and of the Methodist family who claimed, or rather disputed, their connection with the preacher John Wesley. Alice Burne-Jones's sister is said to have burned a preserved lock of the preacher's hair with the derisoiy comment: "See! A hair of the dog that bit us!" 48.
Near Bateman's was Pook Hill which gave its name to the collection of poems known as "Puck of Pook's Hill". The name derives from 'pucu healh' or goblin nook which is an Anglo-Saxon place name to be found in Sussex near the site of Bateman's to the south west. There are similar historical place names to be found in that part of West Sussex today. 49. At Battleboro where for 4 years the Kiplings lived near to Beatty Balestier, they spent an acrimonious time which is scarred by the legal struggle between he and his brother-in-law.
"If I don't do certain things, you'll kill me?" "By Jesus, I will," cursed Beatty, "Then, remember you will have only yourself to blame,"is how the violent exchange between Kipling and Beatty is recorded in Carrington. 50.
Kipling had married Carrie Balestier in 1892 and John was born screaming and kicking in the December of that year. In Battleboro at Naulakha after which Kipling's novel featuring the introductory poems to each chapter is named, Kipling wrote The Bridge Builders and The Jungle Book there. He carved the text,"The Night cometh when no man can work" on an immense fireplace in the study of the farm house amongst the sylvan hills of the remote Vermont village where it was situated. While the two volumes of the Jungle stories were completed at that semi-ranch location, Kipling also published in The Seven Seas in October, 1896, the sincere A Song of the English, an emotional moment and which includes the Song of the Critics about ever-lasting impressions of the seaports visited in 1891 and 1892.
Gloucester, Barnes, Croydon, Worthing, Muswell Hill, and Edinburgh were the settings for W E Henley's literary endeavours. It was at Worthing that the artist William Nicholson painted his portrait, and where Mr Dedman the masseur visited Henley to apply massage. Always busy with editing, writing, correspondence and meeting contributors to his magazines, Henley, in the year 1901, took a small flat at Battersea at 19, Albert Mansions, where he began a highly productive career in joumalism.
Muswell Hill, north London: a house designed for use as a public house and built on a corner, was another location connected with the editor of the North Briton, the National Observer, and in his later years, Worthing where, old and now crabby with Stevenson's memory, he refused a visit from Lloyd Osbourne. A letter to Marriot Watson confirms his condition of mind:
"June 10th: You'll find more Hawthorn and Lavender in this (June) number of the North American Review. How are you? I am labouring; but not much seems to come of it. "Old I do wax, and from my weary limbs" "...However...!"51
However, Haggard had, as a member of the English landed squirearchy, a rural home remote and far removed from the attractions of the metropolis. Bradenham House in Norfolk had been bequeathed to the Haggard eldest son by the father, so he was beholden to his elder brother, but on marriage to Louisa he decided to move into the larger Ditchenham House, near Bungay in Suffolk, the distaff parental home right on the border with Norfolk; good shooting, hunting, fishing territory. Like Kipling, who was overwhelmed with grief by the death of his son in the First World War, Haggard was struck down with acute mental depression, digestive disorders, influenza, and head-aches.
Visits to Kipling at Bateman's and Lang at Cromwell Road did dispel the gloom and when in possession in 1890 of a splendid London flat with activities connected with the Commonwealth he recovered. The Anglo-African writers club was a favourite activity with meetings at the Savoy and the Grand hotels, and Savile club venues with associates like Sir Henry Bulwer, Sir Walter Peace, Sir B W Greenacre and others. He was also visited by Maurice Greiffenhagen R A for a portrait sitting. Greiffenhagen was a portrait painter and designer who illustrated some of Haggard's earliest works. His drawings in the first edition of Haggard's work illustrated the novel in an unimaginative way which did not heighten the story line of adventure, quest and romance which evoked their conception at Ditchingham.
Another of the study's personalities, Andrew Lang, after studying at Glasgow, St Andrews and Oxford Universities, had many homes in a literary life time filled with activity. He was a Fellow of Merton College, but the regulations preventing married fellows to continue in rooms were the means of Lang's quitting an academic for a full-time journalistic career based in London. The Langs, Andrew and Louisa, lived first at 1, Marloes Road, west London, and took occasional excursions to Scotland to golf at St Andrews, to fish on the Tay and to read in the National Library of Scotland, renting a residence at Kilcheran on Lismore island for the purpose.
As success in a highly productive life of letters increased, they moved house to Cromwell Road where Conan Doyle, Professor Gilbert Murray, W B Richmond R A, S R Crockett (The Raiders) of Bank House, Penicuik, Arthur Quiller-Couch, A E W Mason, Rider Haggard, Sir Ian Hamilton, and Lady Elspeth Campbell visited.
Lancelyn Green recounts how, on holiday at the rented house in Scotland, there was a window centrally placed over a fireplace which was back-to-back with another window in the drawing room. Standing there, and admirng his reflection in the glass as he thought unobtrusively, Lang was observed, through the window, from the other room, to preen himself. However, the poem which Lang constructed out of the incident gives an amusing insight into the vanities of dinner guests:
"When Smith his tie adjusted
And Brown arranged his hair,
Each cried in tones disgusted
I thought, I hoped, I trusted,
My face was far more fair." 52.
The Langs settled almost permanently at Cromwell Road, to a life of sport, travel, journalism, criticism and collaborative ventures in the writing profession. A cursory glance at the four folio size pages of entries detailing Lang's books, productions, editions, articles, issues, in the British Library reading room catalogue will bear ample proof of the prodigious volume of literature which was originated largely in Cromwell Road.
The haunts which the writers in the study frequented included the Victorian gin shops, gin palaces, tavems, clubs, and fashionable areas where the Victorian male gathered. A tour comprising the Swiss Cottage, the Elephant, Archway Tavern, The Grill Room in the Strand and the Italian eating house in Villiers street, as well as the London and south coast restaurants that they patronised would be instructive. Whilst the writers in this study wrote abut imaginary places, the actual places they frequented were the club and the restaurant, writing, arguably by chance, about the music hall, the public house and the music theatre. The gin shops which flourished in the 1820s were superseded by the gin palaces as gin became cheaper and beer progressively more expensive. 53.
Designed by J B Papworth, the establishment at 94, Holborn Hill called "Thompson and Fearson's" featured in the popular catch phrase of the 1830s attached to George Cruikshank's caricature: "the bell chimes to church and out stagger the queer'uns, from Wellers in Old Street and Thompson and Fearson's."54.
Henry James referred to the atmosphere created by the well established gin shops where in a railway train joumey to Euston station he observed from the viaduct above the way the light from such proprietories would cut through the gloom of a foggy east London evening:
"...a wet, black Sunday, about the first of March...that drive from Euston, after dark, to Morley's Hotel in Trafalgar Square...dusty tortuous miles, in the greasy four-wheeler to which my luggage has compelled me to commit myself. [London's] immensity was the great fact, and that was a charm; the miles of house-tops and viaducts, the complication of junctions and signals through which the train made its way to the station had already given me the scale. The weather had turned wet...The low black houses were as inanimate as so many rows of coal scuttles, save where at frequent corners, from a gin shop there was a flare of light more brutal still than the darkness." 55.
Such were the popularity and appeal of juvenile books that a burgeoning market for Christmas annuals, literary souvenirs, keepsakes, and serialised works of adventure for boys arose out of that demand and it was aided by an increase in education for all after the 1870 Education Act. Published before the amalgamation into the firm of Longman by the combined forces of Longman, Rees, Ome, Brown and Green, a neat, compact, charming, petite ladies' type of slim volume with plates for the engravings using both steel and copper, The Literary Souvenir was one of a number of issues for the public which met (or, it may be argued, created) the demand for attractive and presentable books. Edited by Alaric A Watts in London around 1829, it was offered with an introduction, which attempted to explain its provenance, and is a model of Victorian hypocritical high confectionary.
"The Literary Souvenir is, this year, presented to its readers in a new and considerably improved form, without any addition to its price. An anxiety to render it worthy of the high character it has hitherto maintained, has induced its Proprietors to meet the extraordinary competition that has lately arisen among the publishers of annual works, by augmenting, in an important degree, and at a large additional expense, the interest of their book. Whether or not this sacrifice will be repaid by a proportionate increase of public patronage, remains to be proved. At all events, they will have the satisfaction of knowing that they have, at least, laboured to deserve it." 56.
The items such as Ladies' Keepsake and Maternal Monitor published from Philadelphia 1835, Friendship's Offerings from New York in 1836, Bernard Bowring's (ed.) Cabinet of Literary Gems, London, 1832, the Bijou Annual of Literature, published in London by William Pickering in 1829, the Christmas Garland, a miscellany of verse stories and Mrs Lang's fairy book, Brown book and her Red Book of Heroes edited with Andrew Lang, as well as Love's Offering and Affection's Gift were all offered to the public as attractive and presentable books. 57.
In addition to these commercially orientated works the market for boys' fiction was saturated in Edwardian England with a form of fiction which became an easily recognisable and wholly regrettable sub genre of comic fiction known to schoolmasters as "the penny dreadfuls". The penny dreadfuls were, as their name suggests, horrid sheets issued for a profitable market consisting mostly of boys, (yet, arguably, read covertly by their teachers), which were offered in complete volumes after having first appeared in boys' magazines in a serialised form. Small format works, they were bought and collected by schoolboys and, indeed, today a complete unexpurgated collection of penny dreadfuls would be considered valuable by antiquarians and collectors, and might be the subject for academic research into the repressed sexual motives which influenced this genre.
The issues of penny dreadfuls were originated for the adult market but filtered down into the juvenile one. The appearance of weekly dreadfuls for boys named The Bad Boys Paper, The Boy's Standard, The Boy's World, and Our Boy's Paper were so notorious that they came to the attention of the authorities as unsuitable for children's consumption. They were characterised by melodrama and sensationalism, and one of their amusing features was the incorporation of euphemistic names, such as Ned Nimble and Dr Bircham. George Emmett (The Boys of Bircham School) and W T Townsend (The Captain of the School) were two of their editors. Along with the opposition from school masters, who resisted such publications on the grounds that they interfered with the language and writing of their charges, they were opposed by the police who considered that they were somehow harmful to the public interest.
The Schoolboy's Own Library, which was put into circulation four hundred and eleven times, was a series of abridged or edited stories reissued in a different format. The Boy's Friend Library, which was issued to the public through newsagents, tuckshops, book and sweet shops, was a series of one thousand four hundred and eighty-eight novels which were printed and distributed over a period of twenty-eight years from 1907. 58.
Titles included The Bully of St Basil's (Henry St John, 1911), The Fifth Form at Haygarth (Jack North, 1912), The Scholarship Boy (Henry St John, 1911), The Scholarship Athletes (Sidney Drew, 1914) and Robert J Kirkpatrick in Bullies, Beaks and F lannelled Fools 1742-1990, goes on to list over three hundred more. It was no accident that the majority of titles were connected with the public schools, for the sub genres of public school "dreadfuls" and "penny libraries" were aimed at schoolboys from elementary and board schools who aspired to the social cachet of association with and knowledge of the society, jargon, mores, lores and kinship perpetuated in the boarding schools, whilst they had very little hope of ever seeing inside one.
The Boys Own Paper was modelled directly on Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes, an arguably generically unique novel (although Kirkpatrick believes that forty such titles preceded it) which is obtainable in these days, and on G A Henty's feeble, militaristic novels for schoolboys who wanted, like Capt.Bailey's Heir, to travel to Califomia to the goldrushes; such novels are now unread.
B O P, as it was affectionately known, with its masthead of the Prince of Wales feathers and Union Jacks, was the kind of issue which indulged in serialised stories of imperial heroes, white men achieving natural victories over black men. It attained, at a time when the Scramble for Africa was at its beginnings in the eighteen-seventies, a readership of one million. Enjoying a unique format of pull-outs, colour charts, and free maps it had an image of chauvinistic flag waving unmitigated by the content of its serials. Produced, at first, by one Beeton, it continued into the twentieth century and, notably, did not cease until 1967.
The Magnet and The Gem were comic fiction which attracted a deal of attention by boys who were inspired by the attractions of boarding schools and who wanted to be, in their secret desire for attendance at such establishments, a fan of its mystery. Frank Richards' (Charles Hamilton) emanations of public school life took shape in a fictive world of tuck shops, bun fights, botched parental visits, shouts of "cave!", trippings up, blots, beaks and ink fights. Richards' amusing works featured fat, gourmand schoolboys, plump rotters who loved only bullying boys in the school shadows, and repressive headmasters forever on the search to administer a whacking. They teased and cajoled, and entertained elementary and secondary school boys over the period from 1908. 59.
Max Pemberton edited Chums, a comic fiction issue for friends of the masculine gender. A highly commercial writer, he produced an inferior novel in the fashion of Haggard entitled The Iron Pirate (1893). Although he was educated at tertiary level his work had little of the sensitivity, taste, and creativity normally associated with advanced academic learning. This is not to suggest that his fiction was unsuccessful.
The public schoolboy novel Tom Brown's Schooldays, by Thomas Hughes, was based on a love of school life and especially on the institution of fagging (in which one boy served, attended to the demands, wants and needs of another, more senior boy who cried out apocryphally "fag! " and was promptly provided every necessity), school tone and respect, and physical exercise, but not cricket for the headmaster sets off for the Lake District the day before the house cricket match. The disturbing aspect of this novel is its realistic although unapprovingly descriptive account of bullying. The 'roasting' (forcing a boy before a roaring fire until unconsciousness ensued) was a startling and violent example of less savoury aspects of boarding school existence which Tom encountered. Flashman, the bully,was a sufficiently interesting character to be able to be the genesis of emulatory novels by George Macdonald Fraser, although his novels did not keep to the original conception of Flashman as a brash, flashy bully.
Created in 1857, Tom Brown's Schooldays was produced in five editions in its first year alone, and, by 1862, was so enormously popular that twenty-eight thousand copies were sold. The essential point about this novel is that it raised up a whole series of schoolboy library stories of public schools and boarding school life into a respectable and fairly literate, though formless and disorganised genre.
The usual and vaguely patronising reasons given to explain why it turned, so disappointingly, to bullying were that the spirit of courage, bravery and fitness which resounded in the school were not, it seems, turned into an organised and meticulous system based on properly run and firm lines. The bullying was it might be argued - although we are not convinced of the metaphor nor the correctness of the reasoning - a manifestation of the loss of order and discipline not carefully woven into the pattern of the school's fabric.
A manual on how to organise, administer and run an excellent boys' club was provided by Basil Henriques, who incidentally was a member of a number of London boy's clubs. The workwas dedicated to his "colleagues at 'The Oxford and St.George's"'. Henriques suggested a number of practical ways in which, through chapters on Activities, Camp, Understanding the Boy, and importantly on sex, the social, moral and spiritual life of an unsuspecting boy in a boy's club could prosper. The desired end of harmony and social control would be reached by turning his attention quite straightforwardly and unabashedly to the matter of Camping. If a leader was active enough in thoroughly inspecting all tents and other sleeping quarters, he would get acquainted with the boys under his control. As long as "a few unwritten rules" were adhered to, every boy would clearly understand that in Camp as in Life they had to be implicitly kept, and unless any infringements were dealt with summarily it was impossible to run the campsite properly, effectively and with the moral tone expected at such elevated levels of quality leadership:
"In a camp of small boys some kind of reward may be necessary to help the young tent leader to get his boys to do orderly work and tent inspec-tion. It also adds a certain amount of excitement and interest." 60.
And on the paediatric practicalities Henriques sounds a note which appears curiously dated in these days:
"The most difficult problem arises with regard to the ages of the two sexes. A girl of 14 is very developed and seeks the boy: a boy of 14 used to be in a very early stage of puberty and had no interest in girls - except to be rude to them. This was before the day when he was woken up by rhythm "music" at 7 a.m. and could listen to jitterbugging noises every hour he tumed on the wireless until he went to sleep at night; before the day when his mind was distorted by seeing and listening to every kind of sensuous picture of life when he goes, always once and often as many as five times a week, to the cinema; before the day when cheap, glamorous literature was so much at his disposal. The shy 'innocent' lad of 14 is disappearing..."
But it was the public schools, founded to neutralise the regional antipathies between the classes, and to promote a form of received pronunciation, which were the unique social institutions which, allied to literature, boys' fiction, masculine dominance, social order, feature in the whole ethos of homosociality and masculinity rife. To take a very few examples, Hely Hutchinson Almond of Loretto, where, incidentally Lang studied, had transformed his school from a little known Edinburgh academy into a first rate public school, from a British, not only a Scottish focus, by a regime which emphasised games; the rugby football team being the element which was to supply the South African volunteers with its finest men:
"Proven as boys, in our ranks we have known you,
Proven as men, in our pride we shall own you;
Proven in battle, when bullets are flying,
Proven in suffering, when comrades are dying." 61.
After all, such composers would have taken heart from Lord Wellington who had claimed that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, on the benefits of Divine Guidance, published in 1899, were unattractively jingoistic pieces which mcuded empire, territorial aggrandisement, and contained a mixture of chauvinism and anti-liberalism.
The misses Buss and Beale, too, promoted in Cheltenham, a Saxon seat of leaming where a Benedictine monastery had flourished; by the eighteen-sixties in the Ladies' College there, existed a variety of education hitherto unknown in women's establishments, which did not inculcate the brawny schoolgirl skilled at hockey and lacrosse, but concentrated from February the thirteenth, eighteen fifty-four on the arts, mathematics and the humanities in a school based on girls and young ladies organised in day and evening classes by, later, Miss Faithful, Miss Sparks,and Miss Popham. 62.
But it was to be St Leonard's and St Andrew's which was to be the girls' school to model itself on the public school for boys. The predilection for games was taken to the utmost lengths as E Amot Robertson, presumably an old girl, reported in her essay "The Old School" in 1934:
"We were terribly, terribly keen on games. A carefully fostered and almost entirely spurious interest in house matches was our main subject ofconversation. Girls at boarding school are suggestible beyond belief... Now I do not believe that sporting conjecture of this kind comes natural to one girl in twenty, but this was the tradition of the place (officially described as the High Moral Tone of the School), and so this was how we talked, even when we were alone." 63.
Yet perhaps the Scouts were the manifestations of imperial activity in its most energetic form. To improve the physical, moral and spiritual well-being of boys with an oath of loyalty, three fingers forming a salute, to God, King and country. Intimately connected with Kruger and Rhodes, scouting was a preparation for further activity in the King's Scouts and then in Life itself, a craft which was modelled on the byways and trails forged in South Africa by Robert Baden Powell with which Kipling, too, was familiar. The first actual camping experiment was held on Brownsea island on a river in Hampshire. The boys were organised into patrols named after natural features - names of animals, birds, wildlife, which based itself on Woodcraft, 'the Chief's' own term for the skill of surviving on the land and making a home for oneself under canvas. With its insistence on cleanliness, order, patriotism, and loyalty to one's troop, the movement was the means of transferring many young people out of urbaneness and putting them into the healthful environment of forests and fields, camps and jamborees - a South African term meaning meetings of the tribes. The essential point about the male orientated literature, movements and groups wa sthat they operated to refract bourgeois society in the period of expressionism before the World War. Male literature and the boys' movements were an attempt to ignore the anxiety in the bourgeois self, and free it from capitalist society and from the social urban city mother.
The scout and guide jamboree was a means of assisting the imperial movement because it stressed the role of scouts in empire building and development. Involving hundreds and thousands of boy scouts, it held a massed meeting of scouters and boys at the Imperial Jamboree at Wembley in nineteen hundred and twenty-four. The boys sang oddly phrased songs, danced energetically around the Wigwam and generally revelled in the fireside nostalgia of camp life with yarns about the Relief of Mafeking and Tales of the Boer War. Such gatherings were attended by Baden-Powell, (BP) and later his successor, Lord Rowallan, and their presence helped to invest these ceremonies with a sense of leadership from a first rung imperial servant.
The fact that Robert Baden-Powell is a direct influence on the picaresque travels through the byways and highways of India of Kim is also suggested by the biographical details of Kipling's time spent together with Baden-Powell in India where Baden-Powell visited in his early years as an officer of the British India forces. With Stalky and the others from Stalky & Co, impregnated by the imperial concems of their public school, Westward Ho!, the pride in nation and overweening self confidence which they exuded was symptomatic of the scouting movement in general, although it did not indulge, overtly at least, in military preparations, marching, drilling, or the time wasting exercises so beloved of Sandhurst Military College. Westward Ho! was perhaps a place where boys who were either too sensitive, rebellious or naughty were placed by anguished parents in the hope that the school would turn them into imperial servant at the minor public school in Devon's more remote, artistic parvenus. Apparently: "The boys said that those with whom Cheltenham could do nothing, whom Sherbome found too tough, and whom even Marlbour had politely asked to leave, had been sent to the school at the beginning of things and turned into men." 64.
Conversely, Rudyard Kipling's seminal "Jungle Book" had an undoubted influence on the scout, and later the cub and brownie movements, when proper names from the novel - Akhela, Baghera, Baloo, Mowgli, and Sher Khan were incorporated into its lore. The Jungle Book gave to the scouting world a sense of the wild and untamed, the free and the spirited which civilian life could not offer.
The Jungle Book's influence on the cub movement came from the same kind of animal lore of wolf cubs and the pack instinct, and has a bearing on the British love of animals as a euphemism used in many cases for capitalist social organisation:
"The call of the pack all over the world is "We'lldo our best"; so when your cubmaster comes into the circle you chuck up your chin and, alltogether, you howl out - making each word along yowl; 'A-ka-la - We-e-e-e-ll do -o-o-o- ourBEST.' Yell the word "best" sharp and loud and short and all together." 65.
Scouting was, explains Allen Warren, capable of being presented in a dual guise before nineteen fourteen, that is to say, on the one hand, promoting conduct and action as the true patriotic teaching, and, on the other, arguing for an increased focus on formal instruction through a reformed syllabus. Thereby, the scouts could be held to be at the same time both an "ideal vehicle of socio-political consolidation in divided and multiracial societies", and also, "genuinely imperial, an effective cement for the emerging commonwealth of nations, itself presented as a living embodiment of Scouting's multiracial ideals." 66.
Through its organs The Scouter and The Trail the scouts organisation disseminated advice and help to provincial and regional scout groups who were, otherwise, unable to be in touch with the central organisation. In later years "scout shops" were opened for the sale of paraphernalia and gimcrackery which scouting lore promoted. Items ranged from thumb sticks to patrol flags, from pocket-knives to first aid kits, from shoulder flashes to copies of Scouting for Boys, from linseed oil to paraffin oil, from shoelaces (to be laced for wear in the approvedBaden-Powell fashion, over and over with the ends tucked awayi nside) to neck scarves, from face cream to the mythical elbow grease, if it could be found.
This is not to suggest that the scouts was a soulless organisa-tion. If a patrol leader for the first time in his life had to deal with a cut finger or, with the use of only ropes, block and tackle and some trellises, was made to cross a river, he would discover that it was enterprise which characterised scouting and led to an armful of badges of merit. If a boy scout were aware that by pressing the brim of his tri-comer bush hat with a flat iron and applying starch to acquire the necessary rigidity then he could aspire to the heights of sartorial elegance achieved by Baden-Powell.
Baden-Powell had his own tailor to produce a standard of excellence in uniform far above the normal issue given to the"brother officers" with whom he served. A combination of the refinement of taste, excellence of personal standards, with just a hint of suppressed homosociality, made a platform upon whicht o base a movement, quintessentially English, supererogatory, enervating and clean, based on the outdoors, rather than indoors, and while not necessarily flamboyant, certainly dynamic when seen from the point of view of the urban poor, as the trek cart pushed off for a camp which would take the boy away from the late Victorian and early Georgian urban squalor and bourgeois conformism.
Footnotes and References.
1. Andrew Lang in the Contemporary Review, "Realism and Romance". N0. 52, Nov. 1887, p. 684.
2. Andrew Lang, in The Poetical Works of Andrew Lang, edby Mrs Lang. See P Beresford Ellis, H Rider Haggard A Voice from the Infinite. (London, 1978) p. 119
3. Contemporary Review, L II November, 1887, p. 691.
4. George Saintsbury in the Fortnightly Review, "The Present State of the Novel" LXII, September, 1887, p. 417.
5. W E Henley in the Scots Observer, "Modern Men" 27th April, 1889, quoted in P B Ellis H Rider Haggard. (London, 1978), p. 119.
6. Patrick Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness British Literatureandlmperialism 1830-1914. (Ithaca, 1988.) p. 231.
7. See P B Ellis, H Rider Haggard (London, 1978) p. 176.
8. Julia Wedgwood, in Contemporary Review, 49 (April, 1886), pp. 594-95.
9. Alice Brown, Study of Stevenson, (Boston, 1895) quoted in Kostenbaum, Double Talk, p. 145.
10. According to Elaine Showalter, Professor of English at Princeton, the romance narratives were "structured as stories about men told to men." See Sexual Anarchy, (New York,1990), p. 82.
11. H Rider Haggard, "'Elephant Smashing' and 'Lion Sh0oting"', (1894), quoted in Elaine Showalter, Sexual Anarchy, (New York, 1990), p. 82.
12. J H Shorthouse, In The Days of the Comet. (London, 1906), pp. 304-5.
13. For an account of Northrop Frye's 'totalisation' of a llliterary genres, Anatomy of Criticism see Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory (London, 1983), p. 92.
14. Northrop Frye Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton, 1957).
15. Haggard "The Days of My Life", autobiography (London,1926).
16. Robert Louis Stevenson, The Art of Fiction.
17. Peter Keating, The Haunted Study (London, 1989).
18. See Eve Sedgwick, Between Men whose precise analysis founds itself on the premise that homosexual hysteria, or homophobia, and genital homosexuality was a kind of Joseph Heller's Catch 22 situation which men have been unable to unravel.
19. Rider Haggard, "About Fiction" Contemporary Review 51 (1887) p. 172.
20. Rider Haggard, "About Fiction" Contemporary Review51 (1887) p. 172. Andrew Lang, Essays in Little p. 44.
21. Rider Haggard, "About Fiction" Contemporary Review51 (1887) p. 172. Andrew Lang, Essays in Little p. 44.
22. Rider Haggard, "About Fiction" Contemporary Review51 (1887) p. 172. Andrew Lang, Essays in Little p. 44.
23. Robert Louis Stevenson, A Gossip on Romance.
24. Robert Louis Stevenson, A Humble Remonstrance.
25. Conrad, quoted in Peter Keating's admirable The Haunted Study.
26. Haggard King Solomon's Mines.
27. Andrew Lang Essays in Little p. 44.
28. M Mannoni. Quoted in A P Thomton, For the File on Empire, London, 1968. p. 335.
29. R L Stevenson, in Haggard, The Days of My Life pp. 235-241, Quoted in M Cohen Rider Haggard (London, 1968 p. 209).
30. Claude Levi-Strauss "Myth and Mythology".
31. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Norton edition, (New York, 1988) p. 12.
32. Rider Haggard, She, Dover edition (New York, 1951) p.58.
33. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Norton edition, p. 70.34. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Norton edition, p. 55.
35. Rider Haggard, She, Dover edition (New York, 1951) p.57.
36. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Norton edition, p. 55.
37. Rider Haggard, She, Dover edition (New York, 1951) p.166.
38. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Norton edition, p. 66.
39. Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (London,1922 edn.)
40. Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (London,1922 edn.)
41. An image of violence in Victorian literature which is unrivalled until Pip meets the overpoweringly frightening convict in Dickens' Great Expectations.
42. Robert Louis Stevenson, An Essay on Dreams.
43. Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (London,1922 edn.)
44. Krafft-Ebing, quoted in "Psychopathia Sexualis' ',"Stevenson's Strange Case", Critical Quarterly 28 (1986) p.28.
45. "Psychopathia Sexualis", "Stevenson's Strange Case",Critical Quarterly 28 (1986) p. 28.
46. Andrew Lang, Saturday Review, 9 January, 1886, pp. 55-66.
47. Rudyard Kipling, "The Kipling Papers" p. 234, quoted in Lord Birkenhead, Kipling London, 1978.
48. Louis L Cornell, Kipling in India, New York, 1966.
49. The Place Names of Sussex, (Cambridge, 1930, vol II p.415), Quoted in Puck of Pook's Hill ed. by Sarah Wintle,(Harmondswonh, 1987).
50. Charles Carrington, Rudyard Kipling (Harmondsworth,1970).
51. John Connell, WE Henley, (London, 1949).
52. R Lancelyn Green Andrew Lang p. 188.
53. Brian Spiller, Victorian Public Houses, Newton Abbott,1972.
54. Brian Spiller, Victorian Public Houses, Newton Abbott,1972. '
55. Henry James, London written in 1888 in English Hours, quoted in Geoffrey Best Mid-Victorian Britain 1851-75 (London,1971).
56. "The Literary Souvenir". (ed. Alaric A Watts, London,1829). The Literary Souvenir was offered with silk linings and an introduction which attempted to explain its provenance:
57. Frederick W Faxon, Literary Annuals and Gift Books, A Bibliography 1823-1903, (Pinner, 1912).
58. Robert J Kirkpatrick. Bullies, Beaks and Flannelled Fools1742-1990 (London, 1990).
59. See J M McKenzie, Propaganda and Empire, (Manchester,1984) p. 204).
60. Basil Henriques, "Club Leadership" (Oxford, 1933) p.135.
61. Tristram on Loretto School, in J A Mangan, The Games Ethic and Imperialism, (Harmondsworth, 1986) p. 267.
62. Amy Clarke, A History of Cheltenham Ladies College (London, 1953).
63. E Arnot Robertson, in her essay "The Old School" in1934:
64. Rudyard Kipling in an article in an American paper The Yourh's Companion, 1893, quoted in Isabel Quigley, The Heirs of Tom Brown, (London, 1982).
65. Tim Jeal, Baden Powell, (London, 1989) p. 500.
66. Allen Warren, in Imperialism and Popular Culture, (Manchester, 1986).
"Two Pairs of Peepers": * A Psychological Study of the Passions behind the Literary Collaborations of the Period.
There were tensions in the romance genre between romance and realism on the one hand, and on the other the desire for what writers such as W E Henley claimed was the need for more psychological analysis and what Stevenson was striving to achieve in his masculine novels of action. The passions arising from this basic tension clouded the central issue in this debate, aspiring as it did to higher aims and values, a debate marked by a heated element which we will attempt to show was a screen for the bondings and collaborations behind the literary activities as a key symptom of the genre of imperial fiction.
Sigmund Freud has claimed, quoting for support of his argument Dr Morelli, (d. 1891) 1. that small pieces of evidence, such as the way in which an artist paints an ear lobe or a finger-tip, are highly important to the investigator who is seeking to build up the psychological 'persona' of the people in his investigation. He stressed the point that the rubbish tip can often produce secrets which the less observant person may have overlooked. This advice will be taken up because there is a strong possibility that the survey may reveal details of the relationships between several authors which have been disregarded until now.
We will argue, as cogently as is possible, that small pieces of evidence such as letters between writers, certain articles published in late nineteenth century periodicals, and references of dedications made to authors and the like, demonstrate a revealing picture of the passions behind the bondings which formed the key issue of the study of homosocial collaboration, which can then be built up and shown to be highly evident, although perhaps only dimly realised features of such collaboration until the present moment.
In Freudian psychology two or more people constitute a psychological group, "if they have set up the model object (leader), or both, and consequently have identified with each other." 2. This last definition will be taken as a basis for the social matches which were formed at meeting places such as the Savile club in Piccadilly, and which bondings featured so prominently in the period under investigation.
If sexuality is the basis of much of Freudian investigation, then we should also, perhaps, be advised to look at the psychological implications of the intensity of sex and the act of sex. If sex were only representative of the threnodic and erotic in man, were only the earthly reason for existence, as Leo N Tolstoy remarked, there would be a question mark over life itself:
"Observe that if the purpose of life is happiness, goodness, love or whatever, and if the goal of mankind is what it is stated to be by the prophets, that all men are to be united by love, that swords are to be beaten into ploughshares and all the rest of it, what prevents it from being attained? The passions do. Of all the passions it is sexual, carnal love that is the strongest, the most malignant and the most unyielding. It follows that if the passions are eliminated, and together with them this ultimate, strongest passion, carnal love, the goal of mankind will be attained and there will be no reason for it to live any longer. On the other hand, for as long as mankind endures, it will follow some ideal - not, needless to say, the ideal of pigs and rabbits, which is to reproduce themselves as abundantly as possible, nor that of monkeys and Parisians, which is to enjoy sexual pleasure with the greatest degree of refinement possible, but the ideal of goodness, goodness that is attained by means of abstinence and purity. Men have always striven for this ideal, and they continue to do so. But just look at the result.
The result is that carnal love has become safety valve. If the present generation of men hasn’t yet attained its goal, that's merely because it has passions, the strongest of which is the sexual one. And since that passion exists, a new generation also exists, and thus a possibility of the goal being attained in the next generation. If this generation doesn't manage to do it, there will always be another one to follow it, and so it will continue until the goal has been attained and men have been united with one another." 3
An awareness of the importance of sexual behaviour as the basis of much of men's actions was noted in the field of literature by Samuel Butler who, writing around 1879, drew his readers’ attention to the kind of renewed attitude that was beginning to emerge towards sex and sex matters where he wrote:
"I fancy that there is some truth in the view which is being put forward nowadays, that it is our less conscious thoughts and our less conscious actions which mainly mould our own lives and the lives of those who spring from us." 4.
In particular, it may be of advantage to make an intensive investigation of the psychology of Haggard's She - which demonstrates, according to Carl Jung, 5. an 'anima' - Haggard's concept of the feminine force in man. Man's anima was, as Jung demonstrated to an incredulous public, the collection of all the female characteristics within him, and in a Victorian setting which militated against the demonstration of these feminine forces, a man was in a perplexing quandary to know how to express them; the anima - the image a man throws onto a woman and then rejects, thereby falling out of love. This anima is, in Jung's hypothesis, synonymous with the life urge and forms a basis for his actions.
It may be possible to form a construct whereby Ayesha was Haggard’s anima, the caves of Kor were Africa, Holly was Haggard himself, and Job was the male companion that Haggard always sought in his fictional collaborations. Convenient as it was for Jung to use the novel She to form a case study, he was probably not examining the relationship or parallels of the story with the author. We may be able, nevertheless, to obtain some important enlightenment by bringing to our aid modem psycho-logical insight and understanding.
Ayesha, according to this pattern, could have been Haggard's first childhood love; she lives in an impenetrable dwelling or cave, just as the vagina is impenetrable for a young man bound by the social conventions of Victorian society, and Ayesha denotes the important sexual connotations of the repressed Victorian young person, according to Jung’s theory. And just as the heroine is tied to Haggard’s life, so the whole story expresses the essential qualities of Haggard’s character. The hero’s journey through the wilderness of Africa to ﬁnd the origins of love and happiness in a cave is perhaps the expression of deep, subconscious wants and fears. It is possible to observe from Haggard’s background that the seeds of insecurity were sown by his father in his overbearing treatment and the rejection of his abilities. An example of this emotion is presented in the well documented study by Morton Cohen 6. where we learn that "his father heaped imprecation after imprecation upon him for his stupidity".
A necessary examination of the psychology of Haggard and others will follow which will help to elucidate an understanding of the psychological background of the co-writers who joined together in collaboration to work on their dreams of the romance form. In the case of writing these novels, it might be asked, what were the high toned literary flights of togetherness they embarked on? Were they attempts at fusion in mind and imagination? Were they founded on corporeal and fleshly couplings as well as on literary ones? And did they achieve much aside from worldly success in literature, producing their alluring romances in the arts and publishing, and meeting needs which admittedly were in existence? Or does the present writer have a predisposed set of ideas towards Freudian psychology which leads to the supposition that an arguably benign text is loaded with sexual images, and scarcely veiled homosexual innuendo? The answers to such soundings must come from an even closer examination of the fusions of which these novels were the result.
The relationship between Haggard and Kipling was not only based on a mutual admiration for each other’s work, but their activities at the Savile Club in 1891 where Haggard was one of Kipling's supporters for membership, were capable of a different interpretation from that usually put upon them. Haggard, it would appear, from a letter written by James to Stevenson, was an "immortal": who had been "killed'' by Kipling's arrival on the literary scene.
We'll tell you all about Rudyard Kipling - your nascent rival. He has killed one immortal Rider Haggard, the star of the hour, aged 24 and author of remarkable anglo-indian and extraordinarily observed barrack life - Tommy Atkins tales. 7.
Again, Rider Haggard's name was used by a brother of one of Kipling's barons, J K Stephen, doubling him together with Kipling in a piece of comic verse which asked if a time would not come: When the world shall cease to wonder At the genius of an ass And a boy's eccentric blunder Shall not bring success to pass:... When there stands a muzzled stripling, Mute beside a muzzled bore: When the Rudyards cease from kipling. And the Haggards ride no more?
Calling Kipling an ass and joining his name together with Haggard was bound to raise a number of eyebrows in the literary world, but the irony of such a play upon their names is that the relationship between Haggard and Kipling was brought it to the closer attention of the reading public. 8.
Haggard and Kipling spending the day at Batemans’ leads us to the testing hypothesis that theirs was the literature of dual production with a penchant for embarking on imaginary ﬂights to "the light" together. On the 20th March, 1923, we have them seeing the light in each other’s eye, as if the imagination of the one lighted up the sky of the other: "...for in Kipling there is more light than in any other living man I know, the same sort of light that distinguished Lang when he dropped the shield of persiflage with which he hid his heart." 9.
And on another occasion, returning home from a visit to Batemans’, Haggard wrote in his diary a further reference to the "light" which Kipling exuded and the possession of a faculty which was for Haggard the gift of intelligence: "I never knew a man so full of ‘light’ as Kipling, nor anyone quite so quick at seizing and developing an idea. He has a marvelously fertile mind. We spent a most amusing two hours over the plot and I have brought home the results in several sheets of MS. written by him and myself." 10.
The point (about light) is of importance because it emphasizes that Haggard seemed to take his inspiration from the light that Kipling appeared to emanate. While he seemed to be stimulated electrically by Kipling, the "light" hypnotised Haggard, per-haps causing him to dance in its refracting rays. But, the use of the word ‘light’ implies more than just ideas; it meant they shared a complete cultural affinity - the whole philosophical basis of Kipling’s life and thought was a psychological model object (to use Freud’s terminology) to Haggard.
Haggard and Kipling’s relationship was close enough to allow the exchange of houses as well as visits for days on end. Haggard visited Batemans on a number of occasions, working on the drafts of Haggard’s novel "Murgh", whilst Kipling reciprocated with a visit paid by his family to Haggard’s house at Kessingland Grange near Lowestoft in Suffolk. 11. The Grange was a converted coastguard station, looking out at the sea on the cliffs. A remote place where two writers could work, it had an atmosphere of the sea and, evocative of the navy; also, a bust of Nelson, dated 1812, was prominent in one of the rooms. This figurine had been carved out of a beam for the ﬂagship Victory. In a letter Kipling described the house "for all practical purposes the side of a ship. The garden runs about ﬁfteen yards to the cliff - then the sea and all the drama of the skirts of war laid out before us." 12.
According to Morton Cohen, the most informative of the biographers of Haggard, it was "inevitable" that these writers, "drawn to a common centre from different poles, should be-come acquainted and their paths should cross frequently". We would suggest it was more than that, and that their common centre was a homosocial one. It is undoubtedly true that their meetings were frequent and it is also recorded that Kipling assisted in the work that Haggard was engaged in. Haggard’s notebooks show that Kipling often went over his work with the other writer. In one diary entry Haggard wrote, "We talked a great deal on many subjects, making plots for banks etc. He read me some of his plays and we discussed others." 13.
Haggard and Kipling had come together in 1889 and their relationship developed more rapidly after 1900. "But not until the war years'' Morton Cohen confirmed, "did a strong bond grow between the two". Kipling and Haggard became acquainted in London, a circle of friends having introduced Kipling to membership of the Savile club where he and Haggard met: I took to him at once," Kipling remembered, "he being the stamp adored by children and trusted by men at sight." The Savile club was in a state of heightened expectation when Kipling joined its ranks. John Addington Symonds wrote that, "the Savile was all on the qui vive about him, when l lunched there with Gosse. Rider Haggard appeared really aggrieved at a man with a double- barrelled name, odder than his own, coming up. Literally.'' 14.
Kipling helped with the drafts of Haggard's novels and Kipling confessed, too, that he took the idea for his Jungle Book from an inspiration which came to him on reading Haggard's novel, Nada the Lily:
"It chanced that l had written a tale about Indian Forestry work which included a boy who had been brought up by wolves. In the stillness, and suspense, of the winter of '92 some memory of the Masonic Lions of my childhood magazine, and a phrase from Nada the Lily combined with the echo of this tale. After blocking out the main idea in my head, the pen took charge, and I watched it begin to write stories about Mowgli and animals, which later grew into the Jungle Books." 15.
KIpling encouraged Haggard in his mature period in a letter dated January 28th, 1909: "Let's have more Murgh put in going order"
On one side of the Batemans' stationery can be seen an annotation from Haggard which confirms, in the most conclusive piece of literary evidence which this survey will produce for their collaboration, where it notes: "Batemans/Klplinlg's idea of Murgh, 5.10.08'.. 16.
There was concerted collaboration with Kipling over the production of Allan and the Ice Gods, in February, 1922 when Haggard wrote on the reverse of a sheet of paper which had been used to sketch out the ideas for names for the characters: toying together with names for their creations in the world of Icelandic gods. Playing with names from Murgh through Murth , Murg and Morg appears as a most dilettantish occupation for two men together in a study in a sixteenth century mansion lost in the countryside, where women were excluded and when the only female to appear in the novel is a mythical goddess:
Synopsis of a story drawn up by Rudyard K and myself at Batemans (Feb. 1922) H Rider Haggard. 17.
This document appears to show that Haggard and Kipling were together at Batemans collaborating on Allan and the lce Gods when their intensity of togetherness reveals a compliment from Haggard so far reaching and outstandingly supportive of the other man:
"l have just returned from spending a most interesting day with the Kiplings at Batemans. As usual Kipling and l talked till we were tired about everything in heaven above and the earth beneath. Incidentally too we hammered out the skeleton plot for a romance l propose to write under some such title as Allan and the Ice Gods. 18.
Two writers working together on a novel and covering the whole philosophy of the two worlds of earth and heaven - a mighty undertaking for one author, let alone two. Again, this appears to be clear and authenticated evidence that, as late as 1922. Haggard and Kipling were continuing in a flurry of collaboration and co-authorship which was based on passionate thinking and masculine emotional togetherness.
Haggard's diary shows an ability to abide each other's presence without irritability or embarrassment. Haggard would sit and Kipling would write for days on end; as their togetherness increased their inhibitions in the writing trade melted like people's in the butter trade:
"On Sunday and Monday I sat in his study while he worked and after a while he got up and remarked to me that my presence did not bother him a bit; he supposed because we were two of a trade. 19.
A lengthy conversation with Kipling was all that was required to prove the depth of their sincerity and the interaction of their fulsome affair could go ahead founded on chats and musings in the study. Revealingly, Rider Haggard owned to his diary that: "…A long talk with Kipling is now one of the greatest pleasures I have left in life, but I don't think he talks like that with anyone else; indeed he said as much to me" 20.
Haggard was so fond of him that he dedicated The Way of the Spirit to Kipling with a note to the effect that they had both planned the outline of the novel together. The letter of dedication is dated August 14th, 1905:
"My dear Kipling - both of us believe that there are higher aims in life than the weaving of stories well or ill, and according to our separate occasions strive to fulfill this faith. Still, when we talked together of the plan of this tale, and when you read the written book your judgement thereof was such as all of us hope for from an honest and instructed friend - generally in vain.
So, as you found interest in it, l offer it to you, in token of much I cannot write. But you will understand 21.
One wonders what the content of the part of the book which he could not write would be.
Sexual co-partnership and an alternative writing of chapters were the hallmark of the balance of elemental forces which worked between Haggard and Lang. Apart from their frenetic collaboration on The World's Desire. Haggard and Lang had been in correspondence with each other since the date of the publication of The Witch's Head when, in a postscript, Lang recorded: "I am glad to take this opportunity of thanking you for the great pleasure The Witch's Head has given me. I have not read anything so got for a long time. 22.
One can visualise Haggard and Lang strolling along the leagues of long academy", as Haggard quoted it in a letter dated the 30th April, 1920. 23. while they discussed the merits of the works of art on display:
"Today I have been to the private view of the Royal Academy. The pictures seem much the same as they were five and thirty years ago when I used to look at them with Andrew Lang, trudging through the identical leagues of long Academy' as he called them."
With Lang and Haggard strolling together (arm in arm?) in an inspiring artistic atmosphere, with collaboration in mind, and the finery of the world of art on display, the concept of the emotionally heightened living of this coterie is not difficult to argue out.
When it came to the publication of King Solomon's Mines, Lang read the manuscript draft of the novel, and on its publication he wrote to Haggard acknowledging receipt of his reviewer's copy. The review which he wrote in the Saturday Review was highly complimentary, too much so for an ordinary view which is usually, on balance, incautious backbiting or arrogant nitpicking, and frankly cut-throat.
The act of examining his proofs was one on which Lang could obtain assistance from Haggard. A letter from Lang dated June 2nd, asking if his work could be padded out, stated:
"I send you five chapters of my romance"
Lang requested Haggard to send the work on to the publishers, if it was satisfactory, perhaps hoping for the assumed cachet of its provenance from Haggard's address:
Can I get any more flesh on the dry bonus's 24.
In a further revelatory instance of their cooperation, Lang wrote to Haggard informing him that he had incorporated some of his (haggard’s) ideas into the text, and asked for further assistance: "l’ve worked in your dodge in my fairy tale; its no more an extravaganza than anything you like... Could you read it when typewritten?" 25.
Lang wrote to his collaborator: "You have been more to me of what the dear friends of my youth were than any other man, and I take the chance to say it, though not given to speak of such matters. 26. Haggard echoed these sentiments, writing that he was "among men my best friend, perhaps, and the one with whom I was most entirely in tune". 27.
Lang and Haggard made gestures of support to each other in numerous letters. It is arguable that these contacts were the cause of Lang's widow, the author Mrs Lang, destroying her late husband's correspondence with such ''heart rending completeness'' that, according to Lang's biographer. Roger L Green, "she used to complain that her wrists ached for weeks and weeks after tearing up Andrew's paper's." 28. Before he died, Lang had asked his wife. Leonora Blanche Alleyne, who had written most of Lang's Fairy books, without accreditation being given to her by Lang, to give Haggard a sign of matrimony - a ring, which was to wed them in literary togetherness, and Haggard is pictured in plate photographs of the period wearing the Egyptian ring of Queen Tara, which he always wore from that day on.
Haggard tried to obtain Lang's help for further ventures in double writing. Lang's reply, obscurely half in French, was to be in the negative:
"Faire des objections c'est collaborer, but l don't think I could do more. Had I any ideas of Kor long ago? She I think, is not easily raised.''29.
Apart from the help which Haggard received from Lang in his drafting of She, Lang advised Haggard on his defence of the novel from the attacks in the press. On the construction which went into the writing of She Lang advised Haggard to "screw it a little tighter, and I think it is undeniably an artistic piece of work. … And I'd like if you don't mind to read over the early part with you." 30.
We have examined in Chapter 1 Lang and Haggard's cooperation over the heated, dreamlike adventure novel, The World's Desire, and it would appear evident that their period of intensive . collaboration resulted in their own worldly desires coming true upon the publication of the work in 1890. The World's Desire lifted Haggard and Lang on to a plain of cooperation which no other writing team in this survey had reached. Haggard wrote to Lang in 1907 recalling:
"l think you were a bit discouraged about The World's Desire because a lot of ignorant fools slated it, but in my opinion you were wrong. That work I believe will last." 31.
After The World's Desire was published, Lang acted as a sort of publisher's agent to Haggard. Lang read some of Haggard's works two or three times over, and was in letters to Haggard always "delighted to look over any proofs" He defended Haggard over charges of plagiarism of Kingsley's Hereward in his novel Eric: "Let me see the proofs, as two pairs of eyes are better than one." 32.
If two pairs of eyes were better than one. then two writers writing together could form a more far-sighted team to continue their fanciful expedition into literary togetherness, with publishers and agents only too ready to assist in ensuring that the imaginations of two co-authors were kept at work producing books; activity which was awarding financially as well as socially.
Stevenson showed a passion for Henley when he admired his work in outstandingly glowing terms, which surpassed all standard literary criticism which appeared in the reviews of the day, pointing to the fact that there was more than mere affection, more than the cold light of literary analysis behind the words appearing on the page:
Glad to hear Henley's prospects are fair: his new volume, The Song of the Sword, and Other Verses, is the work of a real poet. He is one of those who can make a noise of his own with words, and in whom experience strikes an individual note. There is perhaps no more genuine poet living... ...and in Henley - all these; a touch, a sense within sense, a sound outside the sound, the shadow of the inscrutable, eloquent beyond all definition. 33.
Henley's relationship with Stevenson rests on a mutual fellow feeling which based itself on a bonding passion of extraordinary incandescence. John Connell, in his valuable study W E Henley, has perhaps best described the association which formed, in part in hospital between the twenty-three year old Stevenson and the twenty-four year old editor. After all, it was Lang who had said that Stevenson more than any man he had met was endowed with "the power of making other men fall in love with him". 34.
John Connell explains how the two men's relationship, the effect of hospitalisation on Henley, and the strangeness of Stevenson, by which is probably meant the difference created by his brilliance of mind, usually protected by what his biographer calls "a vast Scottish Stevensonian myth', has come to be seen as "the combination of the deliciously strange with the deliciously unexpected". By that he means, we suggest, that Henley and Stevenson were attracted to each other, as opposites often are, but it could also infer that they found in the lascivious bond which developed in each other the compatibility and harmony which they had sought but had not found in others until then.
Sessions with Henley were too strenuous for the weakly, consumptive Stevenson so they were "prohibited by the doctor as being too exciting", according to a note inserted by Fanny Osbourne in the Prefatory Note in Robert Louis Stevenson: The Strange Case ofDr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. 35.
The love between Henley and Stevenson was of an intensive nature for a short period from 1870-1883. Henley referred to Stevenson as ‘dear lad', "You have Style, dear lad - the great quality", in his eulogy of Virginibus Puerisque, which had been dedicated to Henley, in the letter to Stevenson of April, 1881, he defended Stevenson, declaring "...by God, you've got it'' and "...you are a Stylist - or, to be more correct, a Master of Style." 36.
But the first seeds of disagreement of an all too protesting kind were sowed in September, 1892, when Henley wrote a letter to Charles Whibley about projected work on a joint project for An Anthology of English Prose. And towards the end of the letter which was to mark the beginning of the end of their rela- tionship, it seems that umbrage was to be taken where none was needed over the remarks Stevenson was to make in an article in Punch dated that same week:
"...Meanwhile a very charming and gen- erous appreciation from R L S. Did you see Punch this week? There’s something in it that, if I were a fool, I should resent as a personal at- tack." 37.
In the Pall Mall Gazette for December, 1901, as a result of Balfour’s Life of Robert Louis Stevenson, which he reviewed, Henley took an overview of his relationship with Stevenson, not allowing the record to pass all for honey: Henley’s
grudge was pitted not so much against the pre-exodus Stevenson as against the post-Samoan Stevenson:
"For me there were two Stevensons: the Stevenson who went to America in ’87; and the Stevenson who never came back. The ﬁrst I knew, and loved; the other I lost touch with, and, though I admired him, did not greatly esteem. My rela- tion with him was that of a man with a grievance; and for that reason, perhaps - that reason and 122 others - I am by no means disposed to take all Mr Balfour says .... .." 38.
and later the sweet words of rancour:
"If it convey the impression that I take a view of Stevenson which is my own, and which declines to be concemed with this Seraph in Choco- late, this barley sugar effigy of a real man; that the best and the most interesting part of Steven- son’s life will never get written - even by me; and that the Shorter Catechist of Vailima, how- ever brilliant and distinguished as a writer of sto- ries, however authorised and acceptable as a art- ist in morals, is not my old, riotous, intrepid, scomful Stevenson at all - sufﬁce it will." 39.
Protesting too much, as Shakespeare has it is, arguably a symptom of the psychology of saying one thing whilst the real meaning of one’s words is otherwise and opposed to the ac- cepted norms of what the words themselves convey; a substitu- tional effect, so to say - in Henley’s case stating in an antagonis- tic way that Stevenson’s work was imperfect but actually carry- ing in his mind a sincere and genuine love for the man and his work:
"...he was, that is, incessantly and pas sionately interested in Stevenson. He could not be in the same room with a mirror but he must invite its conﬁdences every time he passed it; to him there was nothing obvious in time and eternity, and the smallest of his discoveries, his most trivial apprehensions, were all by way of being revelations, and as revelations must be thrust upon the world; he was never so much in eamest, never so well pleased (this were he happy or wretched), never so irresistible, as when he wrote about him- self. Withal, if he wanted a thing, he went after it with an entire contempt for consequences. For these indeed, the Shorter Catechist was ever pre- pared to answer; so that, whether he did well or ill, he was safe to come out unabashed and cheer- ful. He detested Mr Gladstone, I am pleased to say; but his gift of self-persuasion was scarce sec- ond to that statesman’s own." 40.
The collaborative work with Stevenson is an indication of their close cooperation and endeavour. Whilst Admiral Guinea was not the most well known of their joint productions, it was the third play on which Henley and Stevenson collaborated. Dedicated to Lang, Henley’s brother, Edward, the actor, also involved himself in the preparations for the drama and affected the outcome at the Playhouse Theatre. William Archer had wanted a number of additions to be made to the play and after the letter asking for such items as a prologue to be added, Henley answered in the most literary and typically Henleyan fashion, including a cut at Kipling’s supposed femininity, as it hints that he (Rudyard Kipling) was, indeed, the Miss R referred to, sug gesting Kipling as the receptive one in the partnership of two gay writers"
Your "enteesymasy" (as Byron used to write it) is refreshing. Also a little contagious. I’ve no ideas for a Prologue; but honestly I’ll cast round for same. And if I can’t get any tomorrow or next day, I’ll write to Rudyard. High prices haven’t spoiled him, so far as I know. But, then, etsettery, etsettery I can’t answer for results. And the very fact that (even) if he wrote the address of the Admiral and the sturdy Rudyardianism of his own attitude towards the stage might make him tum off something which Miss R. would rather die than deliver - this, I say, gives and will give me pause.
However, we’ll see; and in a day or two you shall know. The worst is, the Admiral’s so d--d unsuggestive and disinspiring. I wrote a decent prologue for the Beau... But here, what is there? There isn’t even a bloody pirate to keep one going! Only John Newton (in shore going togs) and a lion-’arted seaman in petticoats to keep him company; and withal the sickest conviction in the surviving author’s mind that the whole thing is a ﬂam. That and no more. I believe not Dryden, not R.I.S. himself, could rise to it. So there! 41.
But in the Prologue which eventually Henley himself produced to preface the play, his feelings for the other one of the pair, Stevenson, seen from the vantage point of many years past are as strong as they ever were, and the poem as evocative of their deep attachment, as when the two were collaborators
Once was a pair of Friends, who loved to chance
Their feet in any by-way of Romance:
They, like two vagabond schoolboys, unafraid
Of stark impossibilities, essayed
To make these Penitent and Impenitent Thieves,
These Pews and Gaunts, each man of them with his sheaves
Of humour, passion, cruelty, tyranny, life,
Fit shadows for the boards...
One of this Pair sleeps til the crack of doom
Where the great ocean-rollers plunge and boom,
The other waits and wonders what his Friend,
Dead now, and deaf, and silent, were the end
Revealed to his rare spirit, would ﬁnd to say
If you, his lovers, loved him for this Play. 42.
And although Henley and Stevenson had produced the Admiral Guinea together, when it came to the ﬁrst theatre production Henley decided ﬁrmly to absent himself, lest the approving calls for "the author" be further cause for embarrassment about their former relationship, as a letter to William Archer makes clear:
You have noted, or not, that I have held my tongue since his death. I have done so for many reasons; which I will not set forth here. For these same reasons I purpose to be absent on Monday afternoon. There might be - for your sake I hope there will be - calls for "The Author". I’m not on in that show. My delicacy may seem absurd. Absurd let it seem. That is prudent I am sure. 43.
The reasons why Henley wanted to avoid being recognised as a collaborator with Stevenson are, in our view, perfectly clear. He had long severed his emotional bonds with Stevenson and did not want any awakening of interest by West End playgoing audiences to revive them. His suppressed and tightly controlled feelings for Stevenson were never more to be allowed to come out into the open air and the writing of the Prologue for the play was not to be the occasion for a reopening of hurts and wounded feelings which had been stemmed for a number of years since the play was collaboratively written in 1884.
The collaboration over four plays by Stevenson and Henley - besides Admiral Guinea, there was Beau Austin, Deacon Brodie and Macaire - was undertaken, by Stevenson at least, out of love and the stalling emotion of pity. By the account of John Connell in W E Henley (London, 1948) Stevenson had, it would appear, formed an affection for Henley at the hospital of Dr. Lister in Edinburgh and since those days Henley commanded a degree of power over Stevenson which was not broken until the disagreement which arose over the authentic origins of the story purportedly by Fanny Stevenson, which Henley claimed was derivative of one written by Katherine de Mattos. Henley claimed that the story was based on one which Fanny Stevenson had discussed openly in front of Henley with Katherine de Mattos. Katherine had some years before proposed that a story could include a character escaped from an asylum, as they were then called, for mentally disadvantaged patients, and the action was to take place on a railway joumey. Fanny had liked the idea and had, some years afterwards, written up a story which could, possibly, be construed to be the one which Henley knew had come from Katherine, but the intellectual property argument was extremely loosely based when it came to a simple idea which was only couched in very general terms with a very sketchy plot outline.
It is perhaps odd that Stevenson and Henley should be writing a play entitled Deacon Brodie set in Edinburgh about a weekend of roguery, robbery and double-dealing with a "double set of dice" whose sub-title was The Double Life with a cast of thieves up to no good at the dead of night:
"The city has its vizard on, and we - at night we are our naked selves. Trysts are keep- ing, bottles cracking, knives are stripping; and here is Deacon Brodie flaming forth the man of men he is!" 44.
The main character, Deacon Brodie, is a man who leads a double life - by day he is a Deacon, or elder of his trade - carpentry, and by night a thief. A group of rumbustious Scotsmen plan and execute a burglary in a play full of highwaymen and robbers. "On with the new coat and into the new life!" ex-claims the Deacon as he dons a new personality. A burglar himself, the Deacon is catching and killing burglars which is the height of hypocrisy, and highlights the double standards within a play replete with cynicism. While feigning illness, he cunningly executes a robbery, climbing over walls and breaking through a casement window, and skilfully undoing the locks (after all he was a carpenter). But because he had "made a false step, I couldn’t retrace it" (ref W E Henley, Deacon Brodie in Plays (London, 1921, p.86) he changes identities and, by a swift change of personality from Deacon to robber, he attempts to remake his lost fortune by stealing a dowry. The burglar’s mask is peeled off and he is revealed to be the well-known Deacon of the town, Deacon Brodie, in a reversal of categories which signals the authors’ complicity in a reversal of writing roles.
Whilst Walter Leslie protects the Deacon against detection by the authorities, Stevenson and Henley protect each other in a realm of double dealing - to prevent each other from complicity in a plot to convert themselves from respectable Victorian authors into disreputable ones. In a reversal of the roles of Deacon and burglar, Henley and Stevenson appear to be entertaining the idea of the reversal of their roles as playwrights and lovers. Yet, at the end of the play there is an admission of guilt - there was not any man guilty save he himself; no one else had been responsible and, in taking his own life, he is his own executioner for a crime of double identity and double dealing. He falls on another’s sword in self retribution for the sin of masquerading.
The Scottish element, with its dialect speech form, which is pronounced in the scenes of local life in Edinburgh, must have come from Stevenson’s pen, while the story line and plot development show something of W E Henley’s skill in planning and editing. The scenes between father and son - that is between the venerable, paralytic father and the dutiless son, a fetish of Stevenson’s, because he was obsessed with his own father-son relationships - are quite clearly doused with the tell-tale psychological persona of Stevenson. The near misses and the narrow escapes all mirror the flirting with the danger of publishing in collaboration in a highly conventional Victorian world. While Henley and Stevenson attempted, unsuccessfully it might be argued, to get away with their own activities, they constructed a plot which is highly charged with risk, evasion, duplicity and the terror of discovery. Their "false step" might too be revealed to the reading public, with all the consequences on their reputations and, ultimately, on their sales.
This drama is a precursor of Stevenson’s novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in its multiple confusions and changing of personali ties. Is he the doctor, or is he the charlatan? Where is he, where does he reside, and what is his identity? These are questions which can be seen as dealing largely with the fantasies behind the respectability of society, when men were faced with the challenge of the duplicity of their nature, despite what it actually expected from them in terms of conduct and behaviour. It is concemed with the longings for anonymity by creating another identity, and clinging tenaciously to lost dreams of respectability. The similarity of the theme is evident, for Brodie is a man, like Dr Jekyll, of high reputation, but in Edinburgh, who at night is a common burglar with his criminal activities covered by a cast iron alibi. Their lives too, Stevenson’s and Henley’s, could be viewed, at that period, as dwelling in a realm of double dealing - collaboration in a ﬁction concemed with the terror behind the loss of respectability and uprightness in the highly caste-ridden Edinburgh, reﬂecting the shock to the susceptibilities of the late Victorian period.
There was an unusually intensive and passionate feeling be tween Henry James and Robert Louis Stevenson which does much to point the way to the thesis of this survey, attempting as it does to demonstrate the intensive emotions behind the literary collaborations which took place in the period 1880-1919. As the letters of December, 1894 to Fanny Stevenson make evident:
"To have lived in the light of that splendid life, that beautiful, bountiful thing - only to see it, from one moment to the other, converted into a fable as strange and romantic as one of his own, a thing that has been and has ended, is an anguish into which no one can drain the cup for you. You are nearest to the pain, because you were nearest the joy and the pride. But if it is anything to you to know that no woman was ever more felt with and that your personal grief is the intensely personal grief of innumerable hearts - know it well, my dear Fanny Stevenson, for during all these days there has been friendship for you in the very air. For myself, how shall I tell you how much poorer and shabbier the whole world seems, and how one of the closest and strongest reasons for going on, for trying and doing, for planning and dreaming of the future, had dropped in an instant out of life. I was haunted indeed with a sense that I should never again see him - but it was one of the best things in life that he was there, or that one had him - at any rate one heard of him, and felt him, and awaited him and counted him into everything one most loved and live for. He lighted up one whole side of the globe, and was in himself a whole province of one’s imagination." 45.
As the writers travelled, distance was hardly an obstruction to their continued intimacies; a letter of February, 1890, written as if it were a last will and flippant testimony to their entwined love (as a religious spirituality), united them in their twosome duo of happiness:
Union Club, Sydney, February, 19th, 1890
HERE in this excellent civilised, antipodal club smoking-room, I have just read the ﬁrst part of your Solution. Dear Henry James, it is an exquisite art; do not be troubled by the shadows of your French competitors: not one, not de Maupassant, could have done a thing more clean and ﬁne; dry in touch, but the atmosphere (as in a ﬁne Summer sunset) rich with colour and with perfume. I shall say no more; this note is De Solutione; except that I - that we - are all yoursincere friends and hope to shake you by the hand in June.
Robert Louis Stevenson.
signed, sealed and delivered as his act and deed
and very thought of very thought
this nineteenth of February in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred ninety
and nothing. 46.
And it is not difficult to imagine why there ensued, in the light of the psychology of the interaction between the two men, the gender cross referencing, by the terms of such as an historical heroine (Cleopatra), and a French ladies’ hairstyle from the 18th century Marquise de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV, (buccaneering Pompadour) and Wandering Wanton, which is shown by James’s reply made on the 28th April of that year:
"This fondest of hopes of all of us has been shattered in a manner to which history furnishes a parallel only in the behaviour of its most famous coquettes and courtesans. You are indeed the male Cleopatra or buccaneering Pompadour of the Deep - the wandering Wanton of the Paciﬁc. You swim into our ken with every provocation and prospect - and we have only time to open our arms to receive you when your immortal back is tumed to us in the act of still more provoking ﬂight." 46.
The regret on James’ part for Stevenson’s continued absences in the South Seas and the more infrequent retums to Europe was abundantly evident in this mailbag.
In interesting extracts from Stevenson's letters to Henry James published in The Letters of Henry James, which demonstrated the closed world of literary classes in the 1890s and the touchiness and over-sensitivity to rivalry which abounded in the clique, they bore out the contention of an incestuous circle of men writing not only for a living, but to further their psychological position as passionate men devoted to one another, and jealous of any rivalries:
"To Henry James. August, 7th,:
Kipling is too clever to live.
To Henry James. 29 December,:
Kipling is by far the most promising young man who has appeared since - ahem - I appeared. He amazes me by his precocity and various endow- ment. But he alarms me by his copiousness and haste. He should shield his ﬁre with both hands "and draw up his strength and sweetness in one ball." ("Draw all his strength and all his sweetness up into one ball? I cannot remember Marvell’s words.) So the critics have been saying to me; but I was never capable of - and surely never guilty of - such a debauch of production. At this rate his works will soon ﬁll the habitable globe; and surely he was armed for better conﬂicts than these succinct sketches and ﬂying leaves of verse? I look on, I admire, I rejoice for myself; but in a kind of ambition we all have for our tongue and literature I am wounded. If I had this man’s fertility and courage, it seems to me I could heave a pyramid." 47.
The present study can place James and Stevenson together in Bond Street, where Stevenson, outrageously dressed for those days, wearing an infamous navy-blue shirt, red tie, velvet smoking jacket and a sailor’s hat, encountered Lang and James en route for their club. "No, no, go away, Louis, go away!" was the outraged reaction of Lang seeing his friend so apparelled, "My character will stand a great deal, but it won’t stand being seen talking to a ‘thing’ like you in Bond Street." 48. There can be little doubt that James vastly admired Stevenson’s work, for in 1884, on December 5th, we have him writing to Stevenson praising him in the fullest way and referring to the remarks in a previous letter of Stevenson’s which were, he wrote, "sug-gestive and felicitous". Not only that, but Stevenson’s letters too, were:
"full of these things, and the current of your admirable style ﬂoats pearls and diamonds." 49.
In another letter, three days later on the 8th December, 1884, Stevenson compared himself with James and saw himself as not nearly "so accomplished, so adroit, so craftsmanlike, as you". 50.
The feelings were reciprocated also by Stevenson in the period of their togetherness. In a poem which was published in Underwoods Magazine in 1887, James was the "One who Sees" and a literary promise is made that Stevenson would wait in the blue room at his father’s house at Skerryvore until James, "the Prince of men" should appear:
Now with an outlandish grace
To the sparkling ﬁre I face
In the blue room at Skerryvore;
And I wait until the door
Open, and the Prince of men,
Henry James, shall come again. 51.
If James were "the Prince of Men" and Stevenson were "the one who waits" we can divine a relationship of cordial service and the rendering of a superior’s favours. And a further psychological pointer was the way in which Stevenson attempted, in his aberrant state of mind, by using the first syllable of Henry James’ name, Hen, to sign the letter and, realising his mistake, then added an amendment:
You see my state of idiocy: I begin to sign this "Henry James": The asylum yawns forme. 52.
It is not to suggest that compliments are the stuff of male romance, but the effusion with which the exchange of letters was made and the glowing terms in which they addressed each other does point to an intensity of feeling far above the ordinary literary toing and froing of correspondence. For further evidence of such male literary relationships we need look no further than those between Marx and Engels, Spenser and Harvey, Beaumont and Fletcher. A letter in a prestigious English newspaper (the Sunday Times, May 24, 1992) recently spoke of an incestuous literary establishment in which nepotistic cliques of authors congratulated each other on their gifts of authorship and reviewed one another’s work, as well as complaining of the tiresome repetition of the same familiar names appearing in literary articles.
If to dedicate one’s work is to show love and admiration, then Stevenson’s dedication of a short pastoral poem to James is some small part of the exculpatory evidence. Joseph Knight, a drama critic of the Athenaeum revealed, in an unsigned review of 10th September, 1887, which appeared in the Sunday Times and the Daily Graphic as well as the Athenaeum, that:
"Like his predecessor in the composition of Underwoods, Mr. Stevenson dedicates to friends many of his short poems. Instead, accordingly, of A Vision on the muses of his friend Michael Drayton, or lines To my truly beloved friend, master Browne, on his Pastorals, we have poems to Andrew Lang - dear Andrew, ‘with the brindled hair,’ to W E Henley, and to Henry James." 53.
Writing to his brother, the American novelist, William James, who had, a month earlier, noted that Stevenson was in the United States, 54. referred to Stevenson in very close, concerned, classically endearing terms as:
"...a most moribund but fascinating being, of whom I am very fond. If he were in health he would have too much ‘side’ as they say here, but his existence hangs but by a thread, and his almost squalid individualism tones down the "‘Ercles" vein’ 55. in him, as well as any irritation that one may feel from it. He has a most gallant spirit and an exquisite literary talent."
As Janet Adam Smith has expressed it, Stevenson and James were "linked, ...by the closest ties of personal affection", and the strong terms which the two men used to dress each other "trapezist in the Paciﬁc void!" 56. and the enthusiasm withwhich Stevenson wrote to James about the article to be published in Century magazine in a letter of October, 1888: "...it is so humorous, and it hits my little frailties with so neat (and friendly) a touch..." 57.
Also writing in April the following year James in a frustrated mood of lost camaraderie exclaims: "I will try and hold on through the barren months. I will go to Mrs Sitwell, to hear what has made you blush - it must be something very radical. Your chieftains are very dim to me - why shouldn’t they be when you yourself are?" 58. In similar terms James wrote to Stevenson in March, 1890 in a letter which underlined his longings to meet Stevenson again:
"Let me break that silence then, before the bliss of meeting you again (heaven speed the day) is qualiﬁed, in prospect, by the apprehen- sion of your disdain." 59.
James appeared to miss Stevenson egregiously when he was away in the South Seas and seemed to envy Stevenson his living in Samoa, and he wrote to Colvin mentioning "Louis’s wondrous lustiness", and suggesting that literature would suffer by his continuance in Saranack:
"Oh, yes, I’m afraid it must suffer, it can’t help it." 60.
James sprang to the defence of Stevenson in the Autumn of 1887 in an article which was to be published in Century magazine in the following April. 61. William Archer, the critic, had come to the attention of these men in an article in Time magazine 62. in which he largely complimented Stevenson, but the article also contained criticisms about a "lightness of touch" and about the superiority of Stevenson’s "manner" to his con tent, both very reasonable criticisms, which James was to defend with enormous energy and also at great length, the piece running to over forty pages in a reprint of 1948 and containing two chapters. 63.
James referred to Stevenson as "the bright particular genius" and defended his important novels such as Kidnapped and DrJekyll with fulsome praise by explaining that they had been written by an invalid in the conﬁnes of his siclcroom under circumstances of great difﬁculty. James went to some lengths to praise many aspects of Stevenson’s style of writing and, in particular, made an extraordinarily painstaking defence of the majority of Stevenson’s published work. It was as if Stevenson’s well established position had been challenged by Archer - and here was the man who would ﬁght to the death to retain Stevenson’s position of literary pre-eminence in the 1880s. What is clear is that the defence which was raised by James over Archer’s criticism was far and above over what was commonly thought needed to rebut a quite minor criticism, when the thrust of Archer’s article was largely complimentary, causing, it must be said, somedistress to Stevenson at the time, due to the slight about his lack of weight in brushwork, and the accusation that his character drawing was free from robustness, but he (Archer) was actually engaged in an exercise to capture Stevenson’s attention and patronage which James possibly realised and may have attempted to forestall. Archer became notorious for such exercises later on in his throwing his attention upon Bernard and Charlotte Shaw.
It should also be remembered that James was the author of a work on collaboration entitled The Wheel of Time: Collaboration 64. which dealt with the psychology of the sexual implications of collaboration. The story concemed a German painter, Hermann Heidenmauer, who had worked together on an opera with the fashionable French poet, Felix Vendemer, looking at the hatreds caused between the two countries, Germany and France.
The novel took a more serious tum when the French poet’s father-in-law to be was killed by a Gennan soldier in the Franco- Prussian war and the double musical adventure between a German and a Frenchman sparked off jealousy and bad feeling by the poet’s ﬁancee on account of her father’s death. Does this story cover up feelings which James, himself an American, felt about his correspondence with the Scot Stevenson? Did a story which the text demonstrates the public would think was "immoral and horrible" have any connection with a relationship which, it might be argued, was also immoral and horrible? Did James, who showed abhorrence of Wilde’s flamboyance in wearing knickerbockers, and also because his (James’) friend, Mrs Henry Adams 65. had declined to see Wilde on the grounds that he was a ‘noodle’, for example, 66. have a sense of discomfort with his extended correspondence with Stevenson which went far beyond the bounds of normal literary exchange?
Yet it was the relationship which had developed between Stevenson and his wife Fanny’s son, Lloyd Osboume, that is the most contrary to tradition and incipiently disturbing of the ones which this study investigates. A study which attempts to under- stand its protagonists’ lives should not, from the Freudian point of view, pass over its subjects’ sexual activity as many biographies and similar publications do because of prudery or squeamishness. The relationship between Stevenson and his stepson Lloyd Osbourne was one which came to light over the preparatory work for the writing of Stevenson’s adventure novel, Treasure Island. Lloyd and Stevenson planned the plot and charac terisation of Treasure Island on the bed. Lloyd admitted being called up to Stevenson’s bedroom where he saw:
"...my beloved map lying on the coverlet." 67.
The preface features the two, father and stepson, on the bed, not at a desk, poring over the details of the water colour painting which was to be the basis for the story of adventure and quest. The reader may take whatever inference he may like from such a scenario of conception on the coverlet. We are forced to the view that there was more than collaboration and artistic endeavour, that there was homosocial dalliance. And it was ultimately Lloyd’s map which was given birth to in the novel which featured the treasure map repeatedly referred to in the story by Osboume and Stevenson. Lloyd was extremely pleased that it was his box of paints which was used to paint the map which became the centrepiece of the novel:
"Thus one of the greatest...of all romances came to be written, and that I should have had a share in its inception has always been a source of inexpressible pleasure. Had it not been for me, and my childish box of paints, there would have been no such book as Treasure Island. 68.
In the memoirs which Lloyd Osboume later produced about the details of his life and times with Stevenson, Usbourne remembered that there was an unparalleled intensity of feeling from his step-father as they discussed together The Weir of Hermiston which, even thirty years after, he was unwilling to reveal in full, except to say that:
"Never had I known him to be so moved; never had I been so moved myself; and in the all-pervading darkness we were for once free to be ourselves, unashamed. Thus we sat, with our arms about each other, talking far into the night. Even after thirty years I should not care to divulge anything so sacred as those conﬁdences...no words can convey the tenderness of its expression - the softened voice, the eyes suffusing in the starlight, the lingering clasp of the hand." 69.
There can be little doubt that Stevenson was aware of the impossible nature of his feelings for Lloyd Osbourne, for in a letter to Henley he was afraid that he entertained desires for Lloyd, and realised that these wants could possibly, in some circumstances, be construed as homosocial:
"Perhaps as we approach the foul time of life, young folk become necessary? perhaps my present (and crescent) infatuation for the youth Lloyd." 70.
On reviewing Stevenson and Osbourne’s collaborative novel The Wrong Box, the famous and respectable Victorian woman novelist, Mrs Oliphant, found it to be a "silly and vulgar story". She was referring to something which she arguably found to be evident in the work - unbecoming jocularity, frivolity, and a lack of constancy, especially over the farcical scenes where a dead man’s body is taken all around in a barrel and in a grand piano until it can ﬁnd a resting place. However, the theme was ultimately a common one with Stevenson’s The Body Snatchers reﬂecting the same lack of respect for the dead.
In the preface to the adventure, Stevenson admits to the same crime as his character Michael Finsbuty - "judicious levity" 71. for he must have been aware that the book-buying public would suspect that it was a work hurriedly written by the two men for sordid reasons of proﬁt and collaboration. The work was published by Scribners for a fee of 5,000 dollars which suggests that there was a great deal of ﬁnancial incentive for its completion. Referring to his work as one of two authors, Stevenson excused himself, in the same preface, confessing that, "one of them is old enough to be ashamed of himself..." 72. The sense of shame must have arisen from producing a hasty piece of work with a stepson in collaboration with money in mind and with hack writing at the back of their work. One reviewer writing in the Pall Mall Gazette suggested that:
"The story is not worthy of the creator of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but if the difficulty about the corpse could be surmounted, it might possibly furnish the ground-work for a very amusing piece of the farce-masquerading-as-comedy order, which used to form the staple fare at the Criterion. "73.
In writing The Wrecker, Stevenson wrote to Colvin on the 16 or 17 November, 1891, with the outright confession that he had attempted to write a book, not about "the shoddy sham world of cities, clubs, and colleges", but featuring "the world where men still live a man’s life". Here is the crux of the whole aesthetic of Stevenson’s writing - adventure stories for men about men by men (Stevenson and Osboume) with very few women in them and set in the adventurous bohemian playground of the South Seas. Writing in the same postbag to Baxter, Stevenson’s university friend and, latterly, business manager, Stevenson came to the resolution that The Wrecker is a good yarn of its poor sort..."
The Ebb Tide was written collaboratively by Stevenson and his stepson. The story concerns three destitute characters. down- and-oul, "on the beach", 75. and at the mercy of the elements: wind, cold and rain. In scenes which build up zt picture of degradation and social outlawry there is an early admission that "each had made a long apprenticeship in going downward". Robert Herrick, a man, like Stevenson, with a touch of class about him, a public school man with an Oxford degree, is a complete failure in life. Huish and Davis are two mariners whose destiny has washed them up on the shores of Papete. an island in the South Pacific. Meanwhile, all three plot to mutinously conmandeer the schooner, Farallone, loaded with champagne, of which vessel Captain Davis has been put in charge. Herrick agrees with the others to go along with the plan, which is "a strange thing for my father’s son" muses he. Setting sail with a crew of islanders, at sailor named Sally Day, and others named by the three, Dungarce. Uncie Ned, White Man and Cook, they sail for Sydney with their precious cargo. Unable to resist the temptation of breaking open the champagne, Herrick found that the old adage soon applied: "there is no honour among thieves". The drunkenness resulting from an unlimited supply of champagne leads to incidents of violence. The thieves fall out, inflamed with the drink, and a mutiny arises.
Fetching up upon an island atoll, they encounter Attwater, a pearl ﬁsher and part-time missionary who has made and hoarded a fortune. The temptation of theft is too great for Huish and Davis and a bottle of vitriol serves as ammunition for a dead of murder. There is a violent denouement. The bible thumping Attwater triumphs, and Davis lives to experience further development, hut Huish is felled by the trader’s gun:
For the twinkling of an eye the wretch was in Hell’s agonies, bathed in liquid flames, a screaming bedlamite; and then a second and more merciful bullet stretched him dead. 76.
At the end, the tale finds Davis repentant and turmed to prayer, and Herrick resolved upon staying for the rest of his days in the South Seas. content to have found a subordinate role in a choice of life over belief; but the story docs not resolve itself over the question of whether Herrick would turn to belief or not.
The first two or three chapters of The Ebb Tide were unmistakably the work of Osbourne, but it is recorded that the two ﬁnal chapters were finished off by Stevenson, (he wrote cryptically, "I propose, if it be not too late to delete Lloyd's name". He had nothing to do with the last half} 77 . as there is a record that Sidney Colvin considered them to have been "done with astonishing genius" 78. and the "yarn" was published serially in Today from the 11th November, 1893 to the 3rd February, 1894. Stevenson himself described the characters to Henry James as "a troop of swine". "Yet," he owned to Colvin, "it seems to go off with a considerable bang." 79. And in an entry of a letter to Colvin on the 5th June, 1893, he referred to "the last few pages of a rancid yarn". 80
This novel shadows Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in its uncertainty of intention in personality drawing, and in its examination of the fear of discovery. lt moves from respectability to degeneracy and back again. Stevenson and Osbourne throw "an impenetrable mantle" over the lives of their characters which is only removed when they turn to religion at the end, yet the focusing is unclear and the images fudged: as in a faded, inexpertly taken photograph, one is not sure whether one is looking at a negative or a positive. The degeneracy of the story is at the centre of the debate raging at that time over Naturalism in writing.
Writing in a ﬁction for two, "The Ebb Tide", Stevenson and Osbourne enlist the overt expression of affection of one male friend for another, and it is made without any seeming embarrassment or emancipatory intent by the author, but the reader might question the aptness of one male character telling another that he loves him, and particularly so at the heights of the imperialistic genre: "I tell you Herrick, I love you," the man broke out, "I didn’t take to you at ﬁrst, you were so Angliﬁed and tony, but I love you now; it’s a man that loves you stands here and wrestles with you." Attwater describes Herrick as ‘attractive; very attractive.’ After the removal of all impediments to their activities, the result: "The clouds rolled away; the orgasm was over." 81.
Richard Le Galienne, writing in "The Star" in September, 1894, brought a practical end of century point of view to the matter of sexuality, which is perhaps on sure ground as far as it deals with the normal kind, but is inﬁnitely removed from the real world of the emotions and of the sexual life of males in combat situations:
"l am far from missing the charm of a certain air of literary self-consciousness in its right place, but in dealing with rough seamen and perils upon the high seas this literary daintiness strikes a some- what incongruous note ...and, by the way, would a rough seaman like Davis say "I love you" to another man? Wouldn’t he express affection for a comrade in some blunter idiom?" 82.
In a further example of the sexually heated style the double - entendres are frequent and there is the occurrence of thinly disguised homocentric references such as:
"The light of a strange excitement came in Herrick’s face. ‘Both of us,’ said he, ‘both of us together. It’s not possible you can enjoy this business. Come,’ and he reached out a timid hand, a few strokes in the lagoon - and rest." 83.
An allusion to female nomenclature, in a passage intimating cross sexuality, tends to break the Stevensonian rule of no women in his adventure stories but it adroitly avoids the issue by the canny inclusion of a proxy female:
"‘Here you! What’s your name?’ he cried to one of the hands, a lean ﬂanked, clean-built fellow from some western island, and of a darkness almost approaching to the African. ‘Sally Day,’ replied the man." 84.
The characters plan the angle they should shoot from; perhaps from behind:
"He chuckled as he felt the butt of his revolver. It should be done now, as he went in. From behind? It was difﬁcult to get there. From across the table? No, the captain preferred to shoot standing, so as you could be sure to get your hand upon your gun."
The characters have unmitigated belief in their own potency; the fecund period of gestation is nine months for the sailor away from home, "On the Beach", 85. and constantly alluding to his biological prowess:
"‘You shoot?’ asked Herrick. ‘Yes, I am what you call a ﬁne shot,’ said Attwar. ‘It is faith; I believe my balls will go true; if it were to miss once, it would spoil me for nine months.’ ‘You never miss then?’ said Herrick. 86.
The excitement is intensely pitched because of the proximity of death, as well as the homoerotic attraction. Words like ‘throbbed’, ‘excitement’, and ‘present it’ add to the general tone of homosexuality; the joint authors seeming to derive pleasure from the heat and desire of male sexuality, in a situation fraught homomorphically with tension and danger. And so the male characters avidly review the positions from which they will send in their shot:
"Your back view from my present position is remarkably ﬁne, and I would continue to present it. We can get on very nicely as we are, and if you were to turn round, do you know? I think it would be awkward.
Herrick slowly rose to his feet, his heart throbbed hard, a hideous excitement shook him, but he was master of himself. Slowly he turned and faced Attwater and the muzzle of the pointed rifle. ‘Why could I not do that last night?’ he thought." 87.
A caressing hand is seen to run down the shoulder of one of the crew, a cook:
"And one day, when he was forward, he was surprised to feel a caressing hand run down his shoulder, and to hear the voice of Sally Day crooning in his ear..." 88
And later a crowd of sailors gather round the cook to ensure that he is given rest and sleep:
"...ere Herrick knew what they were doing, the cook was aroused and came a willing volunteer; all hands clustered about their mate with expostulations and caresses;..." 89.
Frequent allusions to bummer, cigar, balls, queer, shame, jump, behind, back, dripping pistols, plyful, (playful), pretty dicky figure, a ‘ard one (a hard one), larks, and so on, ad inﬁnitum, culminate in the impression that the text under scrutiny contains a formula for homocentrism. 90
Frequent use of this word ‘queer’ to connote sexual ambiguity exemplifies the aesthetic’s double standards. Overtly the word is meant to mean strange, odd, or eccentric, but the collaborators use it in its homoerotic sense. This allows a double reading of the text already, itself, written by a doubled authorial team. The Ebb Tide repeats the word ‘queer’ and ‘shame’; words which had literary and colloquial connections with rats up drainpipes, stoats, ferrets and weasels in the sack, and other euphemisms for covert buggery. "Yes, it’s a queer country, and a queer people, too, Job," Haggard’s Allan Quatermain tells his erstwhile servant, in the hope of forestalling any fears he may have that the country is simply in the control of witches and not labouring fictionally under the yoke of Sodom.
Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde makes use of the concept of queerness as a deﬁnition of the horror that derives from not being able to discard an unconventional doubleness; the Butler, Mr Poole, refers to Hyde in most suspicious terms confirming the contrary images of him: "Then you must know, as well as the rest of us, that there was something queer about that gentleman - something that gave a man a turn - I don’t know rightly how to say it, sir, beyond this: that you felt in your marrow - kind of cold and thin." 91.
Stevenson and Osboume, too, must have felt in their marrow that there was something unusual in the activities in which they were engaged. Throughout The Ebb Tide Osbourne and Stevenson sprinkle the term queer with disregard for its primary meaning. Confessing that all is not what it seems, Davis states the vessel is "a queer kind of outﬁt from a Christian port"; Stevenson, aware of the reﬂections glancing off his text, and with Lloyd Osbourne holding up the mirror, writes a shimmering prose as a sublimation of queer dreams in the pre-hologramatic state of their holograph.
An indictment of the novel by an anonymous writer in "The Speaker" of September, 1894, drawing attention to the fact that "there is not so much as the shadow of a woman cast upon the story", complains that the novel portrays "the fag ends of certain useless lives", and explains how "three miserable creatures, whose wickedness or weakness has caused them to fall away from civilisation, and have reached a depth of abject woe hardly known even to the occupants of an English casual ward, are the heroes of the tale."
The use of the word ‘fag’, like ‘queer’ did not then have the same connotation of homosexual. Stevenson and Osboume’s constant use of the word pushes it towards its present day use. Apart from its overt meaning of a junior in an English public school who performs certain duties for a senior, the word ‘fag’ derives from the source which we have been intimating, according to the OED as, "A (male) homosexual (slang) originally and chieﬂy US". The dictionary continues that in 1923 N Anderson in Hobo vii 103 wrote that, "Fairies or fags are men or boys who exploit sex for proﬁt." The OED conﬁrms that the ﬁrst usage of the word ‘queer’ in this context, in this country, was by W H Auden in the revised English Studies (1978), August, page 294, where he wrote about "an underground cottage frequented by the queer". The OED deﬁnes the noun ‘queer’ as meaning "slang: A (usu. male) homosexual. Also in combination as queer-bashing vbl sb; the attacking of homosexuals", hence queer- basher."
Again in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde he describes the characters as "incongruous faggots" who were "bound together". He literally means bundles of ﬁrewood, but Jekyll and Hyde’s relationship carries a sexual meaning also. The plot, with its story line of the divided self, and the fact of the divided writing, had by the eighteen-eighties close afﬁnities with homosexuality.
Imitation is the sincerest form of ﬂattery, and often a mirror to the minds of other writers, and this is no exception in the case of the receptivity of these authors. A useful deﬁnition of parody was given by Margaret Rose in Parody Meta-ﬁction, 92. where, following a survey of the use and deﬁnition of the term, she presented a theoretical analysis of parody as a reﬂexive form of meta-ﬁction which "lays bare" the devices of ﬁction to refunction them for new purposes. These purposes could be, she explained, based on art as a reﬂection and reproduction of its subject either through imitation, hidden irony or satire, or as a form of comic imitation to either mock or praise, admire or ridicule, the original text. As an example of this purpose, after the end of the period we ﬁnd Lytton Strachey lengthily parodying Henry James because he was fascinated by the complications which his art produced, in a work entitled The Fruits of the Tree which only resulted in a repetition of the blandness of the prose it tried to scoff at, as the following extract from the Preamble will illustrate:
"For you who understand there can (with one exception) be nothing in what follows there ought not to be. My story, if I have one (and in that very speculation there seems to be so much of it), must, after all, be clarity itself to those from whom it is written, who are so exactly not those who would hesitate or boggle at a meaning. It’s as right as anything - to you; for the one exception to its rightness, which may be, precisely, my way of telling it, I must make in advance both an apology and an explanation. If I could leave on you just the impression it left on me, oh! I should be thoroughly contented. It was deep; deeper you know, a good deal than l was, or even am; so that, in the end, I found and perhaps still find myself swimming upon an ocean whose profundity it is altogether impossible to gauge. What he found - or whether he found anything at all - are questions which, though they add immensely to the complication - might perhaps eventually lead to a solution..." 93.
Parodying Haggard’s work was a sport in which Lang engaged. Collaborating with W E Pollock, he produced a humorous satire of Haggard’s She, which was actually dedicated to Lang. The St James’s Gazette had announced on 24th February, 1887, that, "there is to be published immediately by Messrs. Longmans and Co a travesty of Mr Rider Haggard’s She. The writer is the author of Much Darker Days. The "travesty" was prefaced by a sonnet quoted below, and the whole work was published as a shilling (5p) edition by W Reade with a cover design which, in turn, imitated or reﬂected the Cartouche of Kallikrates his priest in the novel She of whom Leo Vincey was reputed to be descended, and which carried the title He (by the author of It, King Solomon's Wives, Bess, Much Darker Days, Mr Morton's Subtler, and other romances). It is dedicated to "Dear Allan Quatermain", and dated "Kor, Jan. 30th, 1887". The sonnet reads:
Not in the waste beyond the swamps and sand,
The fever - haunted forest and lagoon,
Mysterious Kor thy walls forsaken stand,
Thy lonely towers beneath the lonely moon,
Not there doth Ayesha linger, rune by rune
Spelling strange scriptures of a people banned
The world is disenchanted; over soon
Shall Europe send her spies through all the land.
Nay, not in Kor, but in whatever spot,
In town, or ﬁeld, or by the insatiate sea,
Men brood on buried loves, and unforgot,
Or break themselves on some divine decree,
Or would o’erleap the limits of their lot,
There, in the tombs and deathless, dwelleth SHE!
In his notebook Haggard had written that She was a "mental vampire in the shape of a woman sucking the life out of a man who worships her". W T Stead, the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, had featured in the parody of She entitled He as ‘old Pell Mell’ probably on account of the fact that he had led an attack on Haggard in his journal laying charges of plagiarism against the author of She with an article called, "Who is She and Where Did She Come From". 96.
Haggard was dispirited by the accusations which had been made against him, and had threatened to give up his writing. Thereupon Lang used his powers of moral blackmail to prevent Haggard from taking this course, writing: "If you jack up Literature, I shall jack up Reading." 97.
Going on the offensive, Lang hit out at the critics in a satirical poem which he sent to Haggard which drew attention to the problem of copying another man’s work, ‘cribs’ being a euphemism for derivative versions of original work which the author had, unscrupulously, plagiarised, and ‘crabs' a word meaning both literary efforts and to grumble, or complain:
The Critics, hating men who’re Dabs
At drawing in the dibs
Declare that Haggard cribs his crabs
And so they crab his cribs. 98.
Parodies were the game in hand and the "amusing emanation of the ‘gay mind"’, as Lancelyn Green put it, can be seen no clearer than in the spoof of She which Lang sent to Hyder Ragged entitled Twosh: a clearly homosocial and blatantly immoral piece:
‘Not ’mid the scamps who swagger in the Strand
The siren-haunted concert and saloon,
Mysterious Twosh, thou takest oft a hand
At double-dummy with some wandering "coon"!
Not there doth Noegood with F ullarder spoon,
Wrapped in wild music of some brazen band;
Nay, these proceedings are not opportune,
But such as the Police would scarcely stand!
Nay, not in Kork ("barred" is the sacred "spot"
Where western waves upon Hibemia wash,)
But wheresoever merriment is got
By sportive souls that have a taste for bosh,
And Sporting Times's cheer the lonely lot;
There (and well worth a shilling), there is TWOSH! 99.
Surely a clear indication of the haunts of pimps and prostitutes such as The Strand which these writers frequented, and a clearly homosexual and impure piece of writing to send to another writer. The tone of raw sexual behaviour and corrupt manners in the use of words like scamps, siren, coon, Noegood (no good, up to no good?) and Fullarder (full hard i.e. erection?), take a hand at double-dummy (homosexual mutual masturbation, or cunnilingus?), double-dummy (something to suck for two?), spoon (to spoon, spooning, flirting?), brazen (bold?), sportive souls, (people out for sport?), and taste for bosh, (taste for bashing?), lonely, (looking for company, of either sex?), is more than a hint of the days when AIDS was not as prevalent as it is in these days, and also the open suggestion that the police would not be amused at such activities. Although a parody, it has all the hallmarks of a semi-pornographic piece of late Victorian effervescence, which Lancelyn Green, with his usual perspicacity, seemed to recognise.
J E Scott, Haggard’s major bibliographer, has recorded in a revealing list that one of the parodies of Haggard’s works was The Book of Kookarie by Reader Faghard, author of Queen Bathseba's Ewers, Yawn, Guess, My Ma’s at Penge, Smallum Halfboy, General Porridge D T, Me a Kiss, The Hemisphere's Wish etc etc. In a barely disguised mockery of Queen Sheba’s Ring, Dawn, Jess, Allan Quatermain, Colonel Quaritch V C, She, The World's Desire and other Haggard titles, the suggestion of ‘kook’ and ‘fag’ in the title and the author’s name is revealingly indicative of the kind of suggestion being made, even in the 1880s about Haggard and Lang’s proclivities in their writing and in their clubbing activities. 100.
Punch was the most proliﬁc parodier of all the periodicals. In an amusing parody of the text of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Punch caught the dual role of the two men and also made light of their names: Utterson became Stutterson, Jekyll became Trekyl and Mr Hyde, Mr Hideanseek. In four short glimpses, chapters of the novel were parodied with realism and a sufficient nearness to the original to make it immediately recognisable to the reader. It also, cuttingly, made reference to the fact that the novel was sold for a shilling and declared that: "The fact is, I have got to the end of my ‘I41 pages for a shilling’. I might have made myself into four or ﬁve people instead of two - who are quite enough for the money." 101.
Vanity Fair was another magazine which occasionally rose above its high tone and indulged in satire. On January 2nd, 1887, it carried a mocking poem on the subject of Haggard’s She in which the price of six shillings was referred to and a side swipe taken at Haggard:
This is the song of Ayesha
Weird, clever, exciting, full of strange
thoughts and true philosophy.
Written by a dead Princess on a Cracked Pot
Price, six shillings for the lot. 102.
A satire, almost in the vein of a nursery rhyme to the tune of "The Bells of Old Bailey", was published which joined together two names, Haggard and Lang, in a humorous context which dealt with the publications of these authors, reporting the foundation of the Liberty League, in 1920, by Haggard and others.
‘Every Bolsh is a blackguard’
Said Kipling to Haggard
‘And given to tippling’
Said Haggard to Kipling.
‘And a blooming outsider’
Said Rudyard to Rider.
‘Their domain is the bloodyard’
Said Rider to Rudyard.
‘That’s just what I say’
Said the author of They.
‘I agree, I agree’
Said the author of She. 103.
The title, Two Hearts that Beat as One, is a revealing indication of the attitudes to collaborative writers by the year 1920. In the post First World war period after 1925 there was only Kipling left to continue the saga of dream, adventure, romance and quest. In creating their illusory worlds through combined writing in collaboration these writers went through a process of change. Writing together, they produced work which largely underscored the exotic values they held, and in so doing they fused together in a harmony of self congratulation in praising each other’s work; writers who, like Lady Carbury in The Way we Live Now, rejected the notion: "anything like real selling praise is given to anyone, but friends", which may be an explanation of their passionate and overtly fruitful collaborations.
Footnotes and References.
*Title: "Two Pairs of Peepers", The reference to two pairs of eyes comes from Haggard in a Letter dated October 4th, 1890 in Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p.187.
1. Sigmund Freud, Art and Literature, Volume 14, the Freud
Library, (London, 1985 p. xxx).
2. S Scheidlinger in Group Dynamics, (1954), p. 56. ed. by
D Cartwright and A Zander.
3. Leo Nicholeyevich Tolstoy, Die K reutzersonata und andere
erzahlungen. (Munich, 1961.) (Harmondsworth, 1985.)
4. Samuel Butler, The Way ofall Flesh, (London, 1903).
5. Carl Jung quoted in Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard,
6. Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard, (London, 1968).
7. James to Stevenson, 21 March, 1890, in Charles Carrington,
Rudyard Kipling (London, 1955).
8. Cambridge Review, 29th January, 1891, quoted in Charles
Carrington, Rudyard Kipling (London, 1955).
9. Haggard. Diary 20 March, 1923.
10. Lilias Haggard, The Cloak That I Left, p. 271 in Morton
Cohen, Rider Haggard, (London, 1968).
11. Charles Carrington, Rudyard Kipling (London, 1955) p.
12. In Charles Carrington, Rudyard Kipling (London, 1955) p.
332 quoted in Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p.
13. Letter dated Sept. 30, 1911, in Scott, New Colophon pp.
l4. Monon Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968).
Rudyard Kipling, Something of Myself (p. 85).
John Addington Symonds in Horatio F. Brown ed. Letters
and Papers of John Addington Symonds (1923) p. 228.
15. Quoted in Kip1ing’s autobiography Something of Myself p.
113 in Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p. 207.
16. Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p. 206
quoted in Scott New Colophon, pp. 335365.
17. Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p. 206 in
18. In Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p. 206.
19. J E Scott, Two Footnotes, I1, New Colophon, in Morton
Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p. 202.
20. Haggard, Diary, November, 15, 1918.
21. Dedication in The Way of the Spirit (1906) Letter dated
August 14th, 1905.
22. Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p. 180.
letter dated March 28th, 1885, (Lockwood Collection).
23. Letter dated 30th April, 1920, quoted in Wayne Kostenbaum,
Double Talk, (New York, 1989).
24. Letter Lang to Haggard, Lockwood Collection, June 2nd,
25. Lang to Haggard, Lockwood Collection, January 1, 1897.
26. Wayne Kostenbaum, Double Talk, (New York, 1989), James
27. Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p. 190.
28. Wayne Kostenbaum, Double Talk, (New York, 1989).
29. "To make objections is collaborating" Lang quoted in
Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p. 190.
30. Morton Cohen,Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p. 183.
31. Roger Lancelyn Green, Andrew Lang, (Leicester, 1946) p.
32. Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard, (London, 1968) letter dated
August 7th, 1890.
33. Stevenson: Letter to Charles Baxter, 18 July, 1892 Vol
XXXIV pp. 208-9 quoted on p. 66 Roger Lancelyn Green, Kipling."
The Critical Heritage, (London, 1971).
34. Andrew Lang, Adventures Among Books "Recollections
of Roben Louis Stevenson" (London, 1905) quoted in Wayne
Kostenbaum Double Talk (New York, 1989) p. 145.
35. Fanny Osboume, Prefatory Note in Robert Louis Stevenson,
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
36. W E Henley From a Letter to Stevenson in Paul Maimer,
Robert Louis Stevenson The Critical Heritage (London, 1981) p.
37. John Connell, W E Henley, (London, 1949) p. 257.
38. W E Henley against the Seraph in Chocolate, The Barley-
Sugar Effigy, Pall Mall Gazette December, 1901, XXV 505-14,
quoted in Paul Maimer, Robert Louis Stevenson The Critical
Heritage (London, 1981) pp. 494~500.
39. W E Henley against the Seraph in Chocolate, The Barley-
Sugar Eﬂigy, Pall Mall Gazette December, 1901, XXV 505-14
quoted in Paul Maimer, Robert Louis Stevenson The Critical
Heritage (London, 1981) p. 497.
40. Pall Mall Gazette December, 1901, XXV, 505-14 quoted
in Paul Maimer, Robert Louis Stevenson The Critical Heritage
41. John Connell, WE Henley, (London, 1949) p. 325.
42. John Connell, W E Henley, (London, 1949) p. 326.
43. John Connell, W E Henley, (London, 1949) p. 327.
44. W E Henley Deacon Brodie in Plays (London, 1921) p.
45. Janet Adam Smith, Henry James and Robert Louis
Stevenson: A Record of a Friendship. (London, 1948) p. 248.
46. Stevenson to James, February 19th, 1890 in Janet Adam
Smith, Henry James and Robert Louis Stevenson: A Record of a
Friendship. (London, 1948) p. 182.
47. The Letters of Henry James ed. Percy Lubbock, (London,
1920) see Kipling." The Critical Heritage p. 65.
48. Rosaline Masson, I Can Remember Robert Louis Stevenson
(London, 1914) in Roger Lancelyn Green, Andrew Lang (London,
1946) p. 178.
49. Letter from James to Stevenson, 5th December, 1884, quoted
in Janet Adam Smith (ed.) Henry James and Robert Louis
Stevenson (London, 1948) p. 101.
50. Robert Louis Stevenson from a letter to Henry James,
dated 8th December, 1884, L.S. ii 232-4 quoted in Paul Maimer,
Robert Louis Stevenson: The Critical Heritage (London, 1981)
51. Poem contained in a letter to Henry James, March 7th,
1886, quoted in Janet Adam Smith (ed.) Henry James and Robert
Louis Stevenson (London, 1948) p. 115.
52. Janet Adam Smith (ed.) Henry James and Robert Louis
Stevenson (London, 1948) p. 112.
53. Joseph Knight, Unsigned Review in the Athenaeum, 10th
September, 1887, 3124, 333-4, quoted in Paul Maimer, Robert
Louis Stevenson: The Critical Heritage, (London, 1981).
54. Letter William James to Henry James, lst September, 1887,
from Ralph Barton Perry, The Thought and Character of William
James, (1935) i, 396, 399 quoted in Paul Maimer, Robert Louis
Stevenson: the Critical Heritage, (London, 1981) p. 272.
55, The text states that this is a reference to Bottom’s speech -
"a tyrant’s vein" in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I, ii.
56. James to Stevenson 21st October, 1893 in Henry James
and Robert Louis Stevenson Janet Adam Smith, (London, 1948)
27. Letter of October, 1888 from Robert Louis Stevenson to
Henry James. LS, m, 20-1, quoted in Paul Maimer, RLS the
Critical Heritage (London, 1981) p. 290.
58. Letter from James to Stevenson, April 29th, 1889, in Janet
Adam Smith Henry James to Robert Louis Stevenson (London,
1948) p. 181.
59. Letter from James to Stevenson, March 21st, 1890, in
Janet Adam Smith Henry James to Robert Louis Stevenson,
(London, 1948) p. 183.
60. Letter to Colvin, in Janet Adam Smith Henry James to
Robert Louis Stevenson (London, 1948).
61. Quoted in P Maimer, Critical Heritage (London, 1981) p.
290 Century magazine XXXXV, 869-79.
62. R L Stevenson his Style and his Thought published in Time
Magazine, November, 1885.
63. Janet Adam Smith Henry James to Robert Louis Stevenson
(London, 1948) p 123, Century magazine, April, 1888.
64. Henry James The Wheel of Time Collaboration (New York,
1893) quoted in Elaine Showalter, Sexual Anarchy (New York,
65. Mrs Mary Adams, Letters ed. Ward Thoron, (New York,
1937) p. 338.
66. E1lerman,Osear Wilde (London, 1987) p. 170.
67. Preface to Treasure Island quoted in Wayne Kostenbaum,
Double Talk (New York, 1989) p. 146.
68. Lloyd Osbourne, Stevenson at Thirty-Two in Robert Louis
Stevenson, Treasure Island, (New York, 1925) XVI-XVII.
69. Lloyd Osbourne, Intimate Portrait of RLS (N.Y., 1924)
70. Letter from Stevenson to Henley, Spring 1887, in Malcolm
Elwin, The Strange Case of Robert Louis Stevenson, (London,
1973) PP- 198-99.
71. Preface to The Wrong Box, (London, 1889).
72. Preface to The Wrong Box.
73. Unsigned Review in the Pall Mall Gazette 19 June, 1889,
xlix, 3 in Maimer, RLS: the Critical Heritage (London, 1981).
74. Letter to Colvin on the 16 or 17 November, 1891 in Maimer,
Robert Louis Stevenson: The Critical Heritage (London, 1981)
LS, m, 309).
75. "On the Beach", one of the phrases which Stevenson uses
to add local colour, means down and out and relying on the
resources to be found at hand. It is conceivably a code word for
76. The Ebb Tide in Janet Adam Smith Robert Louis Stevenson."
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde ﬁrst published 1893, (1-larmondsworth,
1979) p. 296.
77. Maimer, Robert Louis Stevenson: The Critical Heritage
(London, 1981) p. 452. Letter to Colvin 17 Jun 1893).
78. Beidecke Collection 4256 Sidney Colvin in Paul Maimer,
London, 1981 p. 449.
79. Letter to Colvin, with entries dated 16, 21 and 23 May,
1893) p. 450. Maimer, (London, 1981).
80. Paul Maimer, (London, 1981) p. 451.
81. The Ebb Tide, p. 199.
82. Richard Le Galienne, writing in "The Star", 27 September,
1894 quoted in Maimer, Robert Louis Stevenson: The Critical
Heritage (London, 1981) p. 455.
83, Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, The Ebb
Tide (Harmondsworth, 1979) p. 199.
84. The Ebb Tide (Harmondsworth, 1979) p. 205.
85. See note 75. The Ebb Tide p. 174.
86. The Ebb Tide p. 258.
87. The Ebb Tide p. 278.
88. The Ebb Tide (Harmondsworth, 1979 Jenni Calder ed) p.
89. The Ebb Tide p. 218.
90. Robert Louis Stevenson The Ebb Tide (Harmondsworth,
91. Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,
92. M A Rose Parody/Meta-ﬁction, (London, 1979).
93. In Michael Holroyd, Lytton Strachey, (Harmondsworth,
94. Roger Lancelyn Green Andrew Lang (Leicester, 1946) p.
95. Quoted in Norman Etherington Rider Haggard (Boston,
1984) p. 9 in Wayne Kostenbaum, Double Talk (New York,
1989) p. 154.
96. Pall Mall Gazette, ll March, 1887, quoted in Peter Beresford
Ellis Rider Haggard A Voice From the Inﬁnite, (London, 1978)
97. Lang to Haggard, Lockwood Collection, quoted in Peter
Beresford Ellis Rider Haggard A Voice From the Inﬁnite, (London,
1978) p. 124.
98. Lang to Haggard, Lockwood Collection, quoted in Peter
Beresford Ellis Rider Haggard A Voice From the Inﬁnite, (London,
1978) p. 124.
99. Letter Lang sent to Haggard with poem entitled Twosh,
Lancelyn Green, Andrew Lang (Leicester, 1946).
100. Scott, Bibliography pp. 230-233.
101. Punch A Parody of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 6 Feb 1886
XC, 64 Maimer, p. 208.
102. Vanity Fair On January 22nd, 1887 Vanity Fair 22 Jan,
1887, XXXVii p. 66).
103. Two Hearts that Beat as One, Daily Herald March 4, 1920
in Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968). 166
White versus Black: A Study of Racism in Imperial Fiction.
The complex relationship between the nationalities of the east and the west is sometimes reﬂected, in imaginative literature, as a myth in which the black person sees the white man as a threat, or even worse, as a figure of gigantic fearsomeness. Conversely, in romance ﬁction particularly, the white person is seen to experience the sense of danger and threat allegedly evoked by the black man, 1. which is distinguished by a fear of cannibalism. In the imperial adventure story, the white man can undergo the terrible ordeals of witnessing torture and execution until he succumbs, and the fear of being eaten alive is always a ﬁctional possibility.
On the other hand, however, in the corpus of Haggard, Henty, Buchan and similar writers, the imperialist character more often than not ﬁnds himself in Africa in the midst of a crisis which his superior wisdom, civilisation and technical knowledge has no difficulty in solving. The Haggard or Henry hero in some foreign milieu, encounters a situation such as a revolution where battles are being fought, statesmen are being toppled, old regimes swept aside, and new reforming ones being put in their place. Then he enters the situation, deﬁes the odds against him, and turns them in his favour. ln much of this literature there is a presupposition that by virtue of their adventurous spirit and their indefatigable pride the explorers are able to discountenance African people. However, it is very difficult to see how characters in the masculine novel of action could defeat African people as easily as their authors allowed.
In novels such as Alan Quatermain and King Solomon's Mines, there is an idea that with just a conjuring trick Europeans were able to achieve superiority over African people, by virtue of the possession of gunpowder and the use of positive attitudes in human psychological relationships. With a pair of false teeth and an eyeglass, with Captain Good engaging in some superior marksmanship, they are able to tum an eclipse of the sun to their advantage by convincing the African people that they could ‘put out the sun’.
Alan Quatermain claims to have mystical powers and employs magical realism in his confrontation with the potentially hostile Kukuanas. Quatermain tells Twala that he and his companions come from the stars, and that their riﬂes - which are said by the tribesmen to be ‘magic tubes which speak’ - as well as Captain Good’s eyeglass, false teeth and white legs, are all magical. Sir Henry Curtis does cut a ridiculous figure, it is to be admitted, without his trousers in a long shirt and with unkempt hair - but to believe that he could, thereby, terrify and subordinate other human beings deﬁes all logic.
What Haggard appears to be attempting to say here is that, because Sir Henry Curtis was wearing a shirt, and because he was, after all, an English gentleman, with a collar and tie, he had a badge of moral authority (despite his untidy, unshaven and barelegged appearance) as a heroic leader of men and as someone to whom as a gentleman automatic deference was due as Haggard, too, a member of the landed squirearchy in Norfolk expected deference from his own lessers.
This duplicitous behaviour continues as the characters make use of the eclipse as a ‘sign’ of their magical powers to win the conﬁdence of Umbopa and some local chiefs. Ignosi, the alias under which he is also known, remains ignorant of the methods used in the deception and seems to accept it as part of the Eng lishmen’s ‘magic’. "Had ye not been Englishmen, I would not have believed it," he exclaims. In this way the heroic nature of the English explorers is revealed, and the automatic superiority of the British over the foreigner is underscored. The handsome, supernaturally strong Englishman abounds in the Haggard canon and is a reminder to the reader of his reﬂected glory. 2.
With only a thin veneer of cultural relativity to mask it, Haggard’s contempt for Africans, and his fundamental sense of superiority is shown in a preface to a story of white deception of the Zulus which clearly shadows his own antipathy to the leaders of the Zulu nation:
''All the horrors perpetrated by the Zulu tyrants cannot be published in the age of melanite and torpedoes.'' 3.
Examples of racism abound in literature set in the period. In E M Forster’s rites of passage novel 'A Passage to India', 4. Mrs Alice Quested’s rejection of, and supposed sexual abuse by Dr Aziz, and his subsequent remission from guilt by her own inability to make a sworn statement in court, (and the English community in India’s continued belief, despite the exoneration by the court, in Alice’s rather than Dr Aziz’s innocence), could be seen as nothing less than class and race hatred spawned by a century or more of misunderstanding, hatred and mutual intolerance.
Writing in a notebook 5. over the years from 1892, the author Somerset Maugham described in many sketches different aspects of the environment in which he had lived; the India and the far East of his day. He was particularly mindful of the colonial life in Singapore and spoke of the hotel there, Raﬁles, which was a magnet for expatriates, with great nostalgia. Talking of a white-haired general whom he termed "the Empire Maker", he ascribed to him racist characteristics:
"‘The only thing that makes India possible is the shootin’. I’ve had a lot of Shikaris who were ﬁrst-rate sportsmen, keen as mustard, I mean, except for their colour pukka white men. I'm not exaggeratin’, you know. It’s a fact."’
To suggest that there is a link between the popular novels of adventure, and racialism and, moreover, imperialism, is perhaps tenuous, but there can be little doubt that, ﬁrstly, racialism and, secondly, the discovery of the British identity in foreign parts are two of the abiding themes of the literature. Martin Green’s thesis in 'Dreams of Adventure, Deeds of Empire' 6. was that the stories of popular literature were one of the vehicles for creating an "energizing myth" which propagated enthusiasm for empire, and for action: they were the dreams that the Englishman went to bed with at night. But Green also showed how it was the function of literary "second-raters" rather than of what Hugh Ridley, who has looked speciﬁcally at the images of imperial rule, 7. deﬁnes as the serious Realist novelists of the nineteenth century, to propagandise and extol the virtues of expansionism.
The ‘noisy assent to European imperialism’ - the phrase is Ridley’s - which writers including Haggard and Henty gave was also accompanied by a strain of antipathy which was most marked in its racial virulence and by the inconsistent racial pattem seen in its stereotypes of African people as endowed with physically attractive features, but seemingly mindless, soulless and amoral.
Whilst agreeing with this thesis we will attempt to clarify it, to show how the joumey to Africa to study the black man in many cases were joumeys to the centre of Britain, and in many respects journeys to the centre of the white man. Self knowledge through a study of the Other 8. would be attained more easily and more readily by an intensive and self reﬂexive study also made through the medium of the romance novel of quest and adventure. There was often less chance of real meaningful contact with the indigenous members of the black population and, as we will attempt to assert, there occurred no actual discovery, nor any real change of heart or mind.
The prolific Victorian writer, George Alfred Henty, is an example of the race consciousness and conﬂict over culture which, because of the pulp ﬁction, was becoming endemic in the white man in the nineteenth century. His febrile, weakly-characterised stories reinforced archetypal images of class, race, and colour which are difﬁcult to eradicate. Black people of many kinds featured in his works and the author stereotypes the African, and even the aboriginal inhabitant of New Zealand, the Maori, with the degrading word "nigger". In his novel Maori and Settler, the suggestion is made, long before the main characters reach New Zealand, that the very human activity, laughter, is somehow an indication of a lack of intelligence:
"The negroes amuse me most," Marion said. "They seem to be always laughing. I never saw such merry people." "They are like children," her father said. "The slightest thing causes them amusement. It is one of the signs of a low intellect." 9.
The stereotypes of people of colour as lazy, childlike, without capabilities, and, even more, the feeling of contempt for them are obvious in this novel. The aboriginal people are portrayed as less than human and no details of their physiognomy are given, nor of their clothes nor their speech; they seem child-like and even robot-like, and inﬁnitely inferior to the imperial characters. Henty could be apportioned a fair share of the responsibility of propounding the kind of views which have done such damage to British relations with African, Asian or Oceanic peoples in the past.
What is more reprehensible is that in a school history text- book, which surely formed the minds of the young in their attitudes to other peoples in that very late Victorian period, Henty categorised the native peoples of Australia and New Zealand as, "thinly scattered bodies of savages". 10.
Henty’s boys’ story, 'Capt BayIey's Heir' is loosely about some schoolboys - who, like Henty, attended Westminster school, 11. and some duplicity between two cousins. Frank is wrongfully accused of theft by his cousin who had planted money on him and advised him to emigrate, which he does - to the United States.
The story is set in Califomia, in the goldﬁelds, where Frank Norris, the hero, has gone with some friends, Peter, the scout, Harold, his servant, Jake, and others. He takes work on a river-boat, travels across America by wagon, and then sets to at panning for gold in the gold rushes.
The heir referred to in the title is, in fact, Harry, the nephew of Captain Bayley who is the sole heir to the title, which ex plains the chicanery over the inheritance. He, it transpires, is the crippled son of a working-class family, which demonstrates an unusual stooping for Henty.
Frank travels steerage on a ship to America and joins a river - going barge on the Mississippi and from then onwards the conversation is all dominated by the derogatory word "niggers". The river barge is nearly capsized in a terrible wind and gale when a tree falls on their craft trapping them in their cabin. With typical resourcefulness they hack their way out of trouble, then they turn their attention to the plight of the black workers:
"Do you hear them niggers holloaing like so many tom-cats? What good do they suppose that will do?" 12.
Finding it difficult to proceed, and with Frank and Hiram, the barge manager loading themselves up with provisions, not, as one might expect for the relief of the trapped workers, but for themselves, they then crawl out through the hole they have made in the side of the barge:
"Hand me the axe, sharp, Hiram," he said, "the niggers can't get out, and our bow isn’t a foot out of water." 13.
Cutting through the branches of the tree and rippling the planks away from the superstructure of the boat, they succeed in freeing the frighted workers. They address them in no uncenain terms, reafﬁrming stereotypes of white-black relationships:
"Shut your mouths and drop that howling," Hiram said, "and grip hold of the tree; the boat will sink under our feet in another minute. Stick to your lantern, lad..." 14.
They stop for refreshment, and they kindly offer a drink of rum to help revive the workers, but not without making reductive comments about the colour of their faces, and their lack of sang froid:
"Now here is a good strong tot for each of you to make your faces black again; you were white with fear when you got out of that cabin, and I don’t blame you; I should have been in just as bad a fright myself if I had been there, though I shouldn’t have made such a noise over it." 15.
Then, when they have succeeded in completing the rescue of the barge workers, Hiram explains to Frank the intricacies of the supposed difference of race:
"Still, one can’t expect men of one colour to have the same ways as those of another, and I am bound to say that if the boat had gone down your boss would have lost four good pieces of property." 16.
In a discussion which follows the perilous event, the portrayal of the religion of the Afro-Americans is revealing of white people’s attitudes both to the place of religion in their own lives as well as in the minds of the black men:
"...and when our time comes, I fancy as there ain’t many of us is afeared of death, or feels very bad about the account they say we have got to render afterwards. It's different with the nig gers; it‘s their way to be singing hymns and hav ing prayer-meetings, and such like. There is some as is agin this, and says it gives ’em notions and sets them agin their masters; but I don’t see it; it pleases ‘em and hurts no one; its just the difference of ways..." l7.
Racism seems here to be a matter of religion also, because it is not of any account if the black men have a spiritual life - it is just "their way". It cannot have any impact on the white people, even though some, it would appear, would regard it as having threatening economic and political overtones. Racialism is surely in any culture an ugly factor and the unnatural nature of such a religious philosophy is to be faced ultimately with a coherent and united opposition.
Henty’s works, then, appear to be a canon of reductive attitudes where the unusual orientation of black people, workers in this case, as Other has given a special kind of difference to them, not only on the grounds of their religion and colour but of their economic and class position in a society.
To emphasise how the same fears and dangers apply even in contemporary literature as they were applicable in the period under discussion, and to give just one example of the fear the black man has for the white person, the prize-winning Nigerian novelist, Ben Okri, has encapsulated the sense of dread which a white man can evoke in a black person in the imaginative, poetically evinced novel 'The Famished Road' which recounts how a group of politicians came to their village distributing food, which turned out to be a source of poisoning. Fear of retribution was the cause of their silence about it, and it was only through the activities of the author, and his father, that the truth of the politician’s cynical manoeuvrings was brought to light. In describing his fear as a young black child worker of being eaten by the white employer, Ben Okri has recounted how:
"We laughed and he suspected us of some prank and he gave money to some of the workers and pointed at us and they came in our direction, abandoning the cables for a moment, and we scattered and ran, for we were convinced that if we were caught and taken back to the white man he would eat us up." 18.
Conversely, the white man, such as Haggard’s hero, can undergo the terrible ordeal of witnessing a group of Ignosi tribesmen ‘hotpotting’ one of his party, that is their placing an earthenware jar full of scalding water on the man’s head until he succumbs. 19.
Joseph Conrad, too, in the period under discussion, puzzles over how, when travelling up rlver in a steamboatful of Africans who have "been growing increasingly hungry for at least this month past", cannibalism was a real possibility:
"Why in of all the gnawing devils of hunger they didn’t go for us - they were thirty to ﬁve - and have a good tuck-in for once amazes me now when I think of it." 20.
In John Buchan’s adventure story Prester John, David Crawfurd, the son of the manse in the tiny Scots village of Kirkcaple, and his two friends, Archie Leslie and Tam Dyke, miss church to go on an adventure to the seashore. There they encounter the Reverend John Laputa who again features in the story when David goes to Africa in pursuit of a legendary treasure, the ruby collar which belonged to Prester John, "the great orthodox Emperor of Africa", who had it from the Queen of Sheba.
Mr Henriques is a captain of industry, and Laputa becomes a man of God - a Christian minister - as well as being the apparition of an African King, having inherited the mantle of Prester John, represented by a totem - the same necklace of rubies, which he wears in an encounter with David Crawfurd in a cave. Laputa falls to his death over a mighty chasm, with the jewels entwined around his neck, to be lost forever.
Nevertheless, David Crawfurd retums home to Scotland with a horde of diamonds, but not before meeting up again with Tam Dyke, his boyhood friend from the days of the Kirkcaple shore.
It would appear that John Buchan had a special attitude to people of colour, whereby they did not rate the same consideration in matters of religion, war, employment, economics and social class. At the outset in Prester John we find Reverend John Laputa, who shares the same Christian name with the author as well as with the legendary king, performing rituals which place him far beyond the pale for David Crawfurd, the son of a Presbyterian minister, and his erstwhile friends. Albeit that the boys, whose adventures make up the early part of the story, ﬁnd Reverend Laputa walking around a ﬁre with measured steps, and raising both hands to the sky, this act of meditation, intuilion, salutation and prayer is taken immediately by the boys for Satanic worship: "It’s magic," said Archie, "he’s going to raise Satan." 21.
It is not until much later in the work that Reverend John Laputa is revealed to be a man of God. Does this plot sequence have deep resonances in the Calvinist Scots mind as seen over recent allegations of Satanic rituals in the Orkney Islands involving boys, Reverend gentlemen and social workers? Is it a Scotsman’s idea of colonialising‘? And is it another story of dual personality and the ‘doppelganger’? An examination of the author’s own patriarchal background as a son of the Kirk, the dutiful Scottish son of a Presbyterian father who desires ﬁctional immortality as an African chieftain, might be instructive. Also a scholarly study of the years of destructive tensions between the Calvinistic and the humanistic in Scottish reformed religion would be informative. This may lead to an investigation of the position of the ofﬁcial Church of Scotland, as incorporated within the Union, and of Buchan’s meteoric rise through the social strata of Scottish society, with the conesponding changes in his attitudes which were formed by prejudices conceived in youth, but reinforced by his marriage to Lady Tweedsmuir into the aristocracy. Is it possible also to read John Laputa as a ﬁctive image of the author himself; these expressions of personal philosophy giving scope for the idea that the imaginative text is taken to hold reflections of fantasy, which Stephen Prickett has described as, "ultimately the most philosophic form of fiction, giving scope to man’s deepest dreams and most potent ideas"? 22. Answers to all of these questions should be looked at in the light of the discussions of his texts which follow.
When David Crawfurd travels to Africa by sea there is a shipboard service in which the voyagers are addressed by a black man, resulting in racial intolerance and with a subtlety shown to the gradations in the matter of pigmentation:
"Some of us were hurt in our pride in being made the target of a black man’s oratory, especially Mr Henriques whose skin spoke of the tar-brush, protested with oaths against the insult. Finally he sat down on a coil of rope and spat scornfully in the vicinity of the preacher." 23.
In the case of racial characteristics, Buchan, in a description which is fuller and more ﬂeshed out than most, and in which his tastes and prejudices are clearly shown, paints John Laputa in vindictive terms:
"The man’s face was as commanding as his ﬁgure, and his voice was the most wonderful thing that ever came out of human mouth. It was full and rich, and gentle, with the tones of a great organ. He had none of the squat and preposterous negro lineaments, but a hawk nose like an Arab, dark ﬂashing eyes and a cruel and resolute mouth. He was as black as my hat, but for the rest he might have sat for a figure of a Crusader." 24.
In the war with the Zulus, of which a few glimpses are seen in the novel, the black man is a supematural or demonical being, causing fear to the white man. Even the act of moving among these peoples is the cause for some great concern for the white person because:
"the sensation of moving through them was like walking on a black dark night with precipices all around. I felt odd quiverings between my shoulder blades where a spear might be expected to lodge." 25.
The juxtaposition of fear and tremulousness is a common homophobic and xenophobic feature of the racialism within the system in the adventure novels of quest in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century.
A black person was incapable in Buchan’s text of attaining the sympathy and fellow feeling of a white person such as David Crawfurd, even when given to fundamental human matters of speech and of the senses:
"Their skins are insensitive to pain, and I have seen a Zulu stand on a piece of red hot iron till he was warned by the smell of buming hide. Anyhow, after I had been bound by Kafﬁr handsand tossed on Kafﬁr shoulders, I felt as if I had been in a scrimmage of mad bulls."
"I found myself looking up at the moon. It was at the edge of the bush, and all around me was the stir of the army getting ready for the road. You know how a native babbles and chatters over any work he has to do. It says much for Laputa’s iron hand that now everything was done in silence." 26.
In the case of employment the white man is referred to as "Baas" and the African is termed by the degrading term "boy" suggesting a black man is incapable of maturation and development into his full potential as an adult human being.
Meeting John Laputa on the road, David Crawfurd is asked by him to provide food and shelter for the night. David Crawfurd does not reveal himself as the youth on the Kirkcaple shore and pretends not to know him. David explains that there are insufﬁcient provisions for him. John is naturally disappointed:
"That is bad news. l had hoped for food and drink yonder. I have travelled far, and in the chill nights I desire a cover for my head. Will the Baas allow me to sleep the night in an outhouse?" 27.
It appears to be a very modest request and the author has him make it in the must abject manner, reﬂecting expectations of the lowest order between employee and employer, and between black man and white man.
The author is sometimes notable for reductive attitudes which lower the indigene to a caricature image of the particular kind of person referred to as a "native" in the Buchan corpus as a result, possibly, of the late Victorians’ attitudes to race, although Christine Bolt has shown how "there are signs that some Victorians could distinguish one African tribe from another, and ad- mire some aspects of African culture" 28. These incidents illustrate, we believe, the left-over attitudes from slavery and are, some would claim, historical extensions of racialism, liberation and integration, and continuing economic subjugation of Africans, Afro-Americans, Native-Americans and Asians. 29.
Alan Sandison, Haggard’s biographer, 30. found his character, Allan Quatermain, to be conscious of an affinity with "those subject races which metropolitan attitudes so decried". He quoted from The Witch’: Head in support of his argument:
"Scratch the polish and there you have best raw Zulu nature. Indeed to anybody who has taken the trouble to study the question it is simply absurd to observe how powerless high civilisation has been to do more than veneer that raw material, which remains identical in each case." 31.
However, this does not appear to be a question of being "in affinity with subject races", rather it appears to be the antithesis of that position, and it is difﬁcult to reconcile the one statement of Sandison with the other from Haggard. It would seem that for Haggard the Zulu human nature was of a different kind from that of the European one and was, rather, incapable of affinity with it. It is a source of some confusion to ﬁnd that Sandison responds in complete agreement with Haggard’s writing, and he even concludes that Haggard "was able to escape the vice of racial prejudice", an opinion which the very helpful Wendy Katz believes results from a remarkable view of the evidence.
Haggard really believed as a colonialist that the racial status of his characters as Englishmen raised them above the people of colour in the world, implicitly assuming that all would remain the same in his democratic world at home. He gives the Englishman the pride in his race to be no less than:
"...the highest rank to which a man can reach upon this earth." 32.
According to Alan Sandison, Haggard, "in his African stories displays his humanity and his humility. His consciousness of ‘process’ and of the truth that it is impossible to isolate phenomena from their antecedents and their consequences gave him a broader perspective (and) enabled him to avoid the colour prejudice which so many of his contemporaries demonstrated."
But, we would argue that in a number of his books Haggard displays a racist attitude which is profoundly anti-egalitarian. For example, in Allan Quatermain to take a further example from the texts, Haggard gives an account of a peace loving Scottish missionary, Rev MacKenzie who is quietly looking after his mission station in Kikuanaland. But when the Masai ﬁghters attack his station he resorts to shooting and axing the Masai by the dozens:
"The clergyman ﬂung down his gun, and drawing his huge carver from his elastic belt (his revolver had dropped out in the ﬁght) they closed in desperate struggle." 33.
The fury of the ﬁght is taken to such ends that the warriors claim that, because of the simple device of wearing steal armour, he and the other Britons were "devils" and they were "bewitched". Haggard gives an account of a severed head being found on the veranda of the mission station in Kikuanaland, leaving the lurid impression of a black man’s head propped up on the porch of the white man’s sanctiﬁed property. Snatching the head by the hair Allan Quatermain exclaims:
"It is the head of one of the men who accompanied Flossie," he said with a gasp. "Thank God, it is not hers!" 34.
It would appear that the life of a black man, here, was less important than the fate of a young white child. Sandison argued in a whitewash account of Haggard’s work that he (Haggard) "does tend to regard the people he visited as having a genuine social organisation and culture of their own though the fashion was to abuse them and talk of them as ‘black dirt which chances to be shaped in the fashion of man’." Though "the ways of black people are not as the ways of white men", as Ignosi reminds Sir Henry, this does not invalidate their particular moral code which frequently puts him "above the Christian who for the most part regards the Negro as a creature beneath contempt". 35.
Now, it is small wonder if the reader is confused as to whether these are the sentiments of someone given to racial equality and a belief in the brotherhood of mankind, but we would argue that what Sandison refers to as "the fashion" to abuse black people and disparage them was a systematic code endemic in his literature; any pretence at understanding their culture was a superﬁcial knowledge of it in his texts, and Sandison’s account is a most unrealistic view. A measure of cultural relativity merely masked deep-rooted antipathies and ingrained prejudices, whether religious, social, or philosophical. There was, it must be said, a certain degree of an understanding of the consequences of the discovery of entirely different cultures, for example in She there is the cult of the feminine which is the embodiment of an ultimate femininity, immortal, which is the glue holding together the remnants of a lost civilisation, but the fact that he made Ayesha a white queen ruling over black people is a mythical aspect of his racial outlook.
It is not surprising to ﬁnd Sandison in complete agreement with Haggard’s writings, even concluding that Haggard "was able to escape the vice of racial prejudice", a view of the textual evidence which is unusual in its partiality. Haggard does, it must be said, attempt to portray in his novels a class society which he sees as a harmonious one. Although Allan Quatermain and his companions are characterised as ordinary men who speak plainly, act spontaneously, and represent a type of Englishman and an example of uprightness, an ordering of life is a given aspect of their world. What helps to contribute to notions of race and nation are types and ideals which minimise the significance of class differences. The class stratiﬁcations of the various African peoples he encounters are noted in passing by Allan Quatermain, suggesting that social classification is endemic to humanity. In one part of Allan Quatermain, for example, the nation of the Milosis are dressed according to their social rank, togas being:
"of different shades of colour from white to deepest brown, according to the rank of the wearer." 36.
The people are divided in the Haggardian notion of class into several great classes as in ‘civilised countries’ with the best bred people being pure and white and the "common herd" darker to distinguish them as inferior. In the same way in Child of Storm, Quatermain assures the unsuspecting readers that Zulus:
"have a social system not unlike our own. They have, or had, their kings, their nobles and their commons." 37.
It is as if the rest of humanity were not made from the same mould and did not qualify for the basic social organisations inherent in mankind.
Robert Louis Stevenson was also given to the reduction of characters to racial stereotypes. In 'Across the Plains', published in Longman’s Magazine in May 1883 he described how, on meeting a person of colour, he discussed with him the nuances involved in the art of tipping. In a reductive passage in which he reduced the waiter to an inferior through the gratuitous act of granting a gratuity, he demonstrated his racial superiority:
"Seeing he was an honest fellow, I consulted him upon a point of etiquette: if one should offer to tip the American waiter? Certainly not, he told me. Never. It would not do. They considered themselves too highly to accept. They would even resent the offer. As for him and me, we had enjoyed a very pleasant conversation; he, in particular, had found much pleasure in my society; I was a stranger; this was exactly one of those rare conjunctures... Without being very clear seeing, I can still perceive a sun at noonday; and the coloured gentleman deftly pocketed a quarter." 38.
It is interesting to note that it is in a white marriage that Haggard brings home Captain Good, in King Solomon’s Mines, albeit to an African princess, and also that Sir Henry Curtis should emphasise in Allan Quaternain that his ﬁrst child by his marriage to Nylepha is "a regular, curly-haired, blue-eyed young Englishman in looks." 39. Writing in a postscript to the novel, he has Henry Curtis conﬁrm that his child is both the Anglo - Saxon type and a gentleman. It is an unmistakable emphasis on racial characteristics which is quite reprehensible.
Many of his characters ﬁnd themselves in a dichotomy for the westem man who discovers himself in the east as to whether he is bound by westem law, especially the marriage contract, or not. As Haggard so trenchantly puts the conundrum: "should or should not circumstances be allowed to alter moral causes?" 40. The answer appears to be that absolute and not relative moral principles must prevail. This does not ring true from the pen of the man who wrote:
"It is very curious to observe how the customs of mankind on this question vary in different countries, making morality an affair of latitude." 41.
Haggard was here referring to the question of the equality of women, explaining that the Amahagger women were treated equally with men. His pretence of cultural relativity is thin and is not undertaken without condescension. A similar moral conundrum besets Stevenson and Osbourne's character, Wiltshire, in The Beach of Falesa. Written collaboratively with his stepson, Lloyd Osboume, Stevenson and Osboume used a ﬁrst person narrator to convey the story. Arriving at a beautiful South Seas coral island, the traders meet up with each other - Randall, Black Jack, and Case. The question of ﬁnding a wife arises very soon and Case arranged for a ‘native’ girl, Uma, and Captain Wiltshire, an officer, to undergo a "trial" marriage of one night, by using the strategy of a "certiﬁcate" of marriage which was not what it seemed:
"This is to certify that Uma, daughter of Faavao, of Falesa, island of -, is illegally married to Mr John Wiltshire for one night, and Mr John Wiltshire is at liberty to send her to hell next morning.
John Blackamoar Chaplain to the Hulks. 42.
Extracted from the register
by William T Randall
This illegal marriage contract, a piece of duplicity and subterfuge unrivalled in the literature, is an undisputed piece of evidence in favour of the thesis that these writers engaged collaboratively in racism at every stage of the literary process. The only mitigation in this case is that Stevenson and Osboume have Uma and Wiltshire live out their lives, and have children which are "only half-castes, of course; I know that as well as you do, and there’s nobody thinks less of half-castes than I do."
But there is no such consolation for Kipling’s characters. The sexual pattem in Kipling’s work is frequently tainted with misogyny; and by the death of his female protagonist, he also avoids a charge of miscegenation. In Without Beneﬁt of Clergy, 43. Kipling relates the story of Ameera, and the British ofﬁcer, Holden, with a light touch and with a sensitivity for many of today’s readers. His sympathy is not due to a psychological interest in the buming question of racial prejudice, nor does it show any appreciation of the particular emotional problems associated with racialism. He deals with Ameera’s sense of guilt in rejecting her own religious and cultural values and presents these feelings in true moral fashion. "There are not many happinesses more complete as those snatched under the shadow of the sword" is a thematic statement of the short novel from '21 Tales'. Kipling has Ameera cling on to Holden, with the tenacity of one who truly knows how to love, but in general Ameera’s characterisation is unreal as a woman, her femininity being based on traditional ideas of a wife’s role.
He deals sympathetically with the reactions of the gatekeeper Pir Khan, who promises to deliver the redundant marriage bed with the prophesy, "Sahib it will be to thee a knife turning in a green wound". In his personal drama, his self knowledge comes from the experience of a love against odds. With tears running down his face, "Oh you brute, you utter brute", is Pir Khan‘s own Oriental reaction to the European’s duplicity. "I will go upon a pilgrimage and I will take no money," he says. The novel recounts the inter-racial tensions and handles them with warmth. There is an understanding of love transgressing boundaries and defying pride and reason and sense, but such encounters often end the way the Kipling story does, in tragedy - the torment of early expectations being divorced from cultural reality, the desperation of pressures and problems placed on a relationship by distant cultures, and other demands on a couple. Kipling takes a sympathetic viewpoint, but by having Ameera die from a disease avoids the marriage between people of two different races, allowing Holden, thereby, to marry a white woman. Racial discrimination here, it could be argued, was one of the more subtle kinds.
Holden leaves the house on horseback and Kipling has him, as Eliot L Gilbert 44. first recognised, leave in the same manner as Ernest Hemingway has his character Lieutenant Henry leave Catherine Barclay, who has died in childbirth in 'A Farewell to Arms': "unable to see for the rain in his face."
It is possible that Hemingway had read 'Without Beneﬁt of Clergy' because there is an obvious connection between the two plot lines as Hemingway's story seems to have similar echoes to Kipling’s at the end of A Farewell to Arms. And Hemingway acknowledged his literary debt to Kipling in many places, among them in 'Green Hills of Africa' where he says through the words of a narrator who is seeking a fourth or even a ﬁfth dimension in writing:
"And why has it been written?" "Because there are too many factors. First, there must be talent. Talent such as Kipling had." 45.
Inter-racial marriages among the "lower classes" in Britain were considered more lightly in India and men were allowed by Kipling in 'The Ladies' to be easygoing about them:
I was a young un at ’Oogli,
Shy as a girl to begin;
Aggie de Castrer she made me,
An’ Aggie was clever as sin;
Older than me, but my ﬁrst un -
More like a mother she were -
Showed me the way to promotion an’ pay,
An’ I learned about women from ‘er! 46.
The poem ends with the well-known lines: "For the Colonel’s lady an’ Judy O’Grady/Are sisters under their skins!" indicating Kipling’s ideas on social cohesion and allowing fortheir common humanity, but it is likely that, even if a private could have relations with an Indian girl, an ofﬁcer and a gentleman could not.
In these romance novels non-European people were exotic by definition and behaved, in the white man’s view, in curious and unexpected ways. This sense of heathenness is a purely religious concept for the Christian, argues Edward W Said, the author of the work on images of the East in the West - that is the textual colonisation of the East, in 'Orientalism'. 47.
Being a white man meant speaking and behaving in a certain way, whether it was a case of the "Parkiha" towards the indigenous resident of New Zealand, the Maori, or the British Resident of Lahore towards the Indian or, in an even earlier period, the colonial interloper towards the people he encountered in Ireland. The attitude towards African people, because of the nascent study of anthropology, reﬂected more on attitudes to- wards what it meant to be British than towards being African and, even more on the notion of the east being gifted with some mysterious spiritual aspect, a counterweight to the west’s more mundane talents and materialistic acquirements.
Again, the lofty style of the imperial adventurer is reﬂected in the stories of writers like Haggard, G A I-lenty and W E Henley. Haggard’s heroes appear to have just retumed from or are about to leave on an imperial mission to let off steam in some far ﬂung comer of Empire. At the beginning of 'Alan Quatermain', Quatermain, Captain Good and Sir Henry Curtis, the characters replicated from 'King Solomon’s Mines', are embarking on another such visit to Africa:
At last I spoke. ‘Old friends,’ I said, ‘how long is it since we got back from Kukuanaland?’ ‘Three years,’ said Good. ‘Why do you ask?’ I ask because I think that I have had a long enough spell of civilisation. I am going back to the veldt.’ 48.
It reminds one of a migrating bird retuming to nest in warmer climes. Haggard had, after all, visited and lived in Africa, at Hilldrop farm only a few miles away from the scene of the Battle of Majuba Hill, and had met all kinds of native peoples and had experienced some unusual adventures in the Transvaal where he was instrumental in raising the British ﬂag in an annexation ceremony in Pretoria to set up a Protectorate against the Boers who had trekked north to Natal and the Orange Free State. He had taken an important part in the raising of the Pretoria Horse, was elected an adjutant and served as one of the two lieutenants in the burgeoning army. Just before riding out to Zululand, the orders were changed and Haggard remained to take part in the defence of Pretoria.
One of his most amazing stories from the point of view of racial arrogance concerns a Zulu boy who is torn apart by a wounded elephant. In Haggard’s novel, King Solomon's Mines, an intrepid party of hunters set off on an elephant shooting expedition. Wantonly shooting the elephants, resorting to eating their hearts, and "very pleased with ourselves", the group of Englishmen managed to badly wound one of the elephants which, as a result of its injuries, then threatened to attack them. Turning on Captain Good, who in his haste to escape fell to the ground, and a Zulu boy, Khiva, the elephant charged forward. Khiva, having seen Good fall, moved forward more surefootedly in his defence. In a matter of seconds, in an act of enormous fictional daring, he ﬂung his spear straight at the elephant, but it stuck in the elephant’s trunk. Screaming with the pain, the animal is made to seize the Zulu boy, throw him down upon the ground and placing its foot on to the boy‘s waist, twist its trunk around the boy’s torso and, as the story has it, ''tore him in two''. 49.
It appears that the outstanding feature of Haggard’s ﬁctional heroism is his antipathy to animal and human rights. The only recorded comment of consolation for the boy’s death is the statement: "Ah, well," he said, "he is dead, but he died like a man." There is no mention of the fate of the elephant, which is slaughtered in a volley of bullets, and the only spoken expression of regret for this sacrifice of a Zulu boy who had saved a white man’s life is through the vehicle of dour understatement which is often, in the corpus, part of the mystique of quintessential British heroism and savoir faire. We may make reference here to the officers in Stalky & Co. where similar phrases can be found in which understatement as a feature of heroics is overemphasised sometimes to the point of caricature:
"‘Adequate chap. Infernally adequate,’ said Tertius, pulling his moustache and staring into the fire." 50.
and these utterances are obviously meant to have the force in the text of many superlatives; unexpressed, and unnecessary to elucidate.
The characters’ exploits are depicted mainly through spectacular and isolated events like the above, such as their ability to control African people with feats of "magic" or marksmanship and by using the beneﬁts of European science, technology, and through the use of professional jargon. Haggard’s racialist types are uncommonly strong and unbelievably superior in this kind of activity, and the stories reﬂect the attributes of fortitude and loyalty.
The contempt for Africa which is evident in Haggard’s plot and story lines arises frequently. Repeatedly examples can be seen of a mentality where "a native" is just:
"...a native, a person from whom land may be ﬁlched." 51.
There is an ironic, aloof tone about the full remarks in the passage which suggest that Haggard did not wish to be numbered amongst those who held such beliefs, and yet, if there is any certainty that the author is to be suspected of ideas and attitudes that accrue to racialism, this provides the evidence.
For Alan Sandison in 'The Wheel of Empire', Haggard’s presentation of the native African is "free on the whole from condescension and disparagement". Perhaps, therefore, he (Haggard) was not the man who wrote, "The ox is the most exasperating animal in the world, a negro excepted". If racism is not an integral part of Haggard’s work, what contradictory evidence might account for confusion on the issue? In fact, Haggard like Jameson and countless others was, according to Wendy R Katz, the author of a work of some scholarship on Haggard, 52. to some extent unaware of the depths of his racial antagonism, and periodically affected the pose of an enlightened and fair-minded liberal; an idea with which we concur. In a passage at the end of Alan Quatermain Haggard waxes lyrical on his sympathy for other cultures:
"I am convinced of the sacred duty that rests upon me of preserving to this, on the whole, upright and generous-hearted people the blessings of comparative barbarism. Where would all my brave army be if some enterprising rascal were to attack us with ﬁeld guns and Martini-Henrys?...
I have no fancy for handing over this beautiful country to be tom and fought over for by speculators, tourists, politicians and teachers, whose voice is the voice of Babel...nor will I endow it with the greed, drunkenness, new diseases, gunpowder, and general demoralisation which chiefly marks the progress of civilisation amongst unsophisticated peoples. If in due course it pleases providence to throw Zu-Vendis open to the world, that is another matter." 53.
But are we to take the dislike of greed, drunkenness, new diseases and gunpowder at face value? There can be little doubt of the ferocity of the weapons of destruction which were being manufactured in the west - not to mention new industrial processes, invigorating military manoeuvres, and the increasing manufacture of sophisticated munitions. It was something that Haggard was well aware of, and particularly the acts of personal heroism as affected by the devastating ﬁrepower of improved ballistics, and more efﬁcient explosives. But without the diseases and the gunpowder western civilisation would undoubt- edly have taken a different turn. These elements strike a chord within the approach to race, which possesses a circumambulatory element of hypocrisy, like the rotating visions of light which these authors so often felt they were bringing to the African. Without doubt atrocities did take place, but the issue here is not the white man’s story as being one, within the texts, of hyperbole and falsehood, but what is important is the convenient forgetfulness of atrocities committed by white people in the name of religion, for how, we may ask, can one separate religious belief from the psyche of any age - and particularly that of the nineteenth century?
Widespread reaction to British rule has been seen as the incipient cause of the Indian revolt in 1857-8. What is now acknowledged as an over-reaction to events, the Indian Mutiny was a watershed in British-Indian relations and, because of the killing of women which occurred, a great resentment and bitterness was felt in the Victorian period, following 1857, towards the east and India in particular. Nineteenth century accounts of the mutiny tended to personalise the conﬂict rather than stress its greater political context. Dickens, the most vehement of the literary Victorian social reformers, in a letter about "The Perils of Certain English Prisoners" in 'Household Words' published in December, 1857 decided that he wanted "to avoid India itself; but (I) want to shadow out, in what (I) do, the bravery of our ladies in India". 54. Dickens also marginalised fears about practices such as tying suspects in front of the mouths of canons, and in the appropriately named 'Blown Away!' he was sure that: "to brutes - like the savages of Cawnpore and Delhi - they can have few fears". 55.
Henty, in 'Rujub the Juggler' 56. represents in his character, Nana, the epitome of treachery. Acknowledging that Nana had grounds of complaint against British rule, there is no explanation given of their grievances. Doctor Ware, another character, justiﬁes the inconsistencies as an eternal characteristic of India politics: "Their history is full of perﬁdious massacre". 57. Ralph Bathhurst, a contemporary writer, emphasising the novel’s focus upon Nana, insists that the uprising was a conspiracy, not supported by "natives in general". 58.
Kipling has also been frequently cited as an example of racism in both his poetry and in his prose. What immediately appears relevant are jingoist verses which extol the virtues of imperialism and crystalise the white man’s role in India as a burden with which he was saddled: "Take up the White Man’s Burden," and the lines: "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet," 59. are only two examples which are ﬁrmly resident in the public mind. In dealing with Indian people such as the regimental servant, Gunga Din, Kim accords a grudging respect to "a better man than I am, Gunga Din", but not without resorting to comments like: "of all the blackfaced crew", "you squidgy-nosed old idol", "our good old grinnin’ gruntin’ Gunga Din" and "You Lazurushian leather Gunga Din" 60. that reduce the Indian manservant to an inferior, less than respectable person, who is only superior because of his indispensability to a soldier in battle, and merely given such status because of the importance of the role he plays in servicing a ﬁghting man.
In terms of his attitude to other Indians in Kim there is a suggestion that his benefactor, Colonel Creighton, feared that Kim’s school, St Xaviour’s in Partibus, had a capacity to nurture in Kim a contempt towards and an arrogance with Indians: "There are many boys there who despise the black man". 61.
The record of his education at St Xaviour's showed that his ability in mathematics, cartography and cricket was excellent, but his skill in these subjects only underlines the absence of the scho0l’s training in moral education. What Kim owes to his guru, the Lama - "the yellow-headed buck-Brahmin priest", (p. 136) is "wisdom from the Lama’s lips". (p. 261) The spiritual guidance as he followed "the traces of the Blessed Feet throughout all India", (p. 235) was received from out of the mouth of the Lama. And, the knowledge he obtained on the road perfected Kim's education, and his future vocation as a "chain man" was prepared for by his accompanying the Brahmin priest.
But it was in European attitudes to Indian religions that there was much of a reprehensible nature. It seems that oriental religion was a subject for study by "orientalists", but typical of the early scholars in their attitude of degradation of Hindu religious tradition in A Christian was the statement that: "The most enormous and strange impurities; the most villainous frauds and impostures; the most detestable cruelty and injustice; the most ﬁlthy and abominable conceits; every corruption and indulgence, are presented to us in their histories, varied in a thousand forms."
In these assessments Hinduism was seen as an Oriental version of Germano-Christian pantheism and Islam was regarded as an apostasy. The Bibliotheque Orientale by d’Herbelot characterised the prophet Mohammad’s ideology and philosophy as follows:
This is the famous imposter Mahomet, Author and Founder of a heresy, which has taken on the name of a religion, which we call Mohammedan. See entry under Islam. The interpreters of the Alcoran and other Doctors of Muslim and Mohammedan Law have applied to this false prophet all the praises which the Arians, Paulicians or Paulinists, and other Heretics have attributed to Jesus Christ, while stripping him of his Divinity. 62.
An unwarranted criticism of the Prophet of light which was a reprehensible feature of the canon. Let us consider the lines: "My brother kneels, so says Kabirl To stone and brass in heathen-wise". Kipling, on the strength of the word of Kabir, presumably an Indian himself. appears to hold similar views on religion in India. He seems to take the attitude that idolatry is the basis of religious practice for his fellow man and: "His God is as his fates assign..." And yet he goes on to modify this by: "His prayer is all the world’s - and mine," 63. seeming thereby to endorse a common Divinity in all received religion. It is a common theme in Kipling of a tendency to resort to primitive beliefs in times of stress. For in India "most folk come back to simpler theories", he held in "The Conversion of Aurclian Mc Goggin", 64. so it may appear that Kipling had a leaning towards the philosophies of the East. Kim goes in search of the truth with the Lama, and it is suggested that:
''All India is full of holy men stammering gospels in strange tongues; shaken and consumed by the fires of their own zeal; dreamers, babblers and visionaries: as it has been from the beginning and will continue to the end. '' 65.
"...he is holy and thinks upon matters hidden from thee," says Kim in the Lama’s defence travelling in a crowded carriage to Umballa.
In the Indian Mutiny, it is not so much a case of the shortcomings of the British or the legitimacy of the Indians’ grievances but rather that Anglo-Indian ﬁction shows it as a popular revolt and a large political movement. Importance is placed by the author Meadows Taylor, 66. on the justification of ‘native’ soldiers in taking action against measures which were counter to their culture and religion. He was supportive of the Indians soldiers on the threat to class or caste which was represented by the new ammunition which was issued to them, which was lubricated with pig and cow grease. It was against both Hindu and Muslim people’s religious duty to touch such items, and Meadows Taylor’s Seeta acknowledged that the new army regulations introduced in the 1850s were intrinsically hostile to fundamental Indian social beliefs. These meant that the requirement for Hindu soldiers to use such ammunition threatened the orthodox Hindu with the complete loss of caste and the Muslim soldier with social disgrace. Mrs Steel’s 'On the Face of the Waters' comprehendingly accepted that the ammunition was contaminated in that way. She rejected, as well, the weak contention of the British authorities that they were ignorant of the religious scruples of the Indian people, complaining as she did of "the inconceivable folly and tyranny of initial responses to the soldiers’ disaffection". 67. The result was that "85 of the best Indian soldiers at Meerut, for example, were set to toil for ten years in shackles because they refused to be so deﬁled".
As is often suggested by commentators, there was a terrible revenge exacted for such atrocities. In the case of the Indian Mutiny the uprising was suppressed in a matter of months, and in the case of Africa the revenge wreaked on the Sudan by Kitchener in vengeance for the assassination of Gordon was terrible. Gordon had taken the bold, but foolhardy step of resisting the storming of the residence by going out on to the steps alone, and was hacked to death, his head being presented, as the apocryphal story goes, to the Mahdi, the rebel leader.
Henty maintained that "the reconquest of the Soudan will ever be mentioned as one of the most difﬁcult and at the same time most successful enterprises ever undertaken". He may well have been right, to the extent that such explicit defences of British violence imply a defence of racialism, stemming from the white man’s insecurity in dealing with the black man and a need for security built on the dismissive attitudes of the authors we have studied to the "common herd" who were the subject of that violence.
Such British triumphs were often celebrated in the halls and theatres, particularly in the altogether more proletarian form of coarse entertainment - the music hall. They were often associated with the mood of bombastic jingoism, stemming from MacDermott’s 1870s song, "We don't want to ﬁght but by jingo if we do!" or "Hands Off!" which was banned by the Lord Chamberlain because of anti-Kaiser sentiments. 68. The OED also makes reference to the Scottish "by jings" but this is misleading because the tenor of their phrase is of surprise rather than of enthusiasm. The rather far-fetched idea that the term is derived from St Gengulphus is another of the witticisms of the author of 'The Ingoldsby legends', Rev Barnum, to whom Allan Quatermain was so devoted. 69.
The jingoist songs of McDermott were sung at many music halls often by rushing from one hall to another to complete the evening’s assignment. Jingoism was in one view an expression of patriotism, and in another racism - the belief in the existence of one race or group superior to another. Its manifestations were expressions of national togetherness seen in newspapers, journals, books and theatres. It belonged to those arenas because its concems and values depended upon large-scale consumption. It was an alliance of all forms of society, from aristocracy to working class, from professor to flower girl.
The audiences at various music halls revelled in such gusty renderings of martial airs and could hardly get sufficient of them, if the production of sheet music is an indication of their popularity. Other examples were "The British Grenadiers", "Soldiers of the Queen" and the martial air which would have been familiar:
The sand of the desert is sodden red,
Red with the wreck of the square that broke;
The gatling’s jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed its banks
And England’s far and honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
‘Play up! play up! and play the game!’ 70.
The music hall audience would have been well aware that the regimental soldier knew when all was lost, England and ‘the game‘ were the last of all values to be surrendered. The lines derive from a poem by Newbolt entitled "Vitai Lampada" (1908) which contains the famous "Play up! play up! and play the game!" which enacted a vital role in underlining concepts of what it was to be English and to be leaders of an Empire. It was a chant which had much to do with concerns of superiority and of supremacism over the philistines which, being players of the great game in India and elsewhere, were a vehicle for exploitation and control.
It has been stated by a number of commentators that the dominant mood of the working class halls was anti-heroic. Yet there was also a newly emergent type of music hall goer: guards, officers, clerks and white-collar workers, military and civil offi cials on leave from colonial postings - who were actively and self-consciously middle class who would encourage and applaud this subtle kind of racism. 71.
Cultural relativism appears as only a gloss over the Haggard text. One can ﬁnd a passage such as the following, which appears to shed a liberal light onto his text, although at the same time managing to accuse the Zulus of polygamy, infanticide, militarism and witchcraft:
"...by what right do we call people like the Zulus savage? Setting aside the habit of polygamy, which, after all, is common among veryhighly civilised peoples in the East, they have a social system not unlike our own. They have, or had, their king, their nobles, and their commons. They have an ancient and elaborate law, and a system of morality in some ways as high as our own, and certainly more generally obeyed. They have their priests and their doctors; they are strictly upright, and observe the rules of hospitality.
Where they differ from us mainly is that they do not get drunk until the white man teaches them to do so, they wear less clothing, the climate being more genial, their towns at night are not disgraced by the sights that distinguish ours, they cherish and are never cruel to their children, although they may put a deformed twin out of the way, and when they go to war, which is often, they carry out the business with a terrible thoroughness, almost as terrible as that which prevailed in every nation in Europe a few years ago.
Of course there remain their witchcraft and the cruelties which result from their almost universal belief in the power and efﬁciency of magic. Well, since I lived in England I have been reading up this subject, and I ﬁnd that quite recently similar cruelties were practised throughout Europe...that is in part of the world which for over a thousand years has enjoyed the advantages of the knowledge and profession of the Christian faith.
Now let him who is highly cultured take up a stone to throw at the poor, untaught Zulu which I notice the most dissolute and drunken wretch is often ready to do, generally because he ~ covets his land, his labour or whatever else maybe his" 72.
Cultural relativism is only a light to be placed on the text, for what is apparent is that it appears as a patronising attitude to the Zulu people. A Zulu is still capable in the text of marrying many wives, acting in Haggard’s phrase "without the law", being naked, killing an unwanted child, engaging in warlike behaviour, and indulging in sorcery at the same time as the author compliments him for his civilisation, society and morality, and professionalism. To give a further example of this superior attitude, in the incident in King Solomon's Mines when the party of Englishmen escape the effects of the sun by lying in a hole in the ground, Ventvogel, a member of the Hottentot language speaking group, is not considered to need such protection: "creeping into the hole, pulled it over us all, with the exception of Ventvogel, on whom, being a Hottentot, the sun had no particular efect."
and later:"Like most Hottentots, he cannot stand cold. Pangs of hunger not so bad, but have a sort of numb feeling about the stomach." 73.
It would appear that members of the Hottentot language group were not made from the same ﬁbre as English speakers. Any idea of unity between black and white in Haggard’s work is a unity of unequals, despite occasional pronouncements to the contrary. It may be well to mention here T E Lawrence’s concept of the relationship between white and black where he proposes a chameleon philosophy in Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
"A man who gives himself to be in possession of aliens leads a Yahoo life, having bartered his soul to a brute-master. He is not of them. He may stand against them, persuade himself of a mission, batter and twist them into some-thing which they, of their own accord, would not. have been. Then he is exploiting his old environment to press them out of theirs. Or, after my model, he may imitate them so well that they spuriously imitate him back. Then he is giving away his own environment: pretending to theirs; and pretences are hollow, worthless things. In neither case does he do a thing of himself, nor a thing so clean as to be his own (without thoughtof conversion), letting them take what action or reaction they please from the silent example." 74.
The fact that British people went out to India was an undisputed feature of Victorian history and culture. Yet, to go out to India was tragically the cause of loss of a life so young, a life that mocks the imperial surges. Rose Aylmer, glimpsed in the Swansea Circulating library and loved, clear-sightedly, by Walter Savage Landor died at the pitiably young age of twenty in Bengal, her monument only:
"Ah, what ails the sceptred race!
Ah, what a form divine!
What every virtue, every grace!
Rose Aylmer, all were thine.
Rose Aylmer, whom these wakeful eyes
May weep, but never see,
A night of memories and sighs
I consecrate to thee." 75
A young girl’s life given to exile in India; yet the poet, memories and sighs his testimonial, went to his grave, too.
The old formula that one Englishman equals two Frenchmen, equals four Germans, equals countless ‘daggoes’, ‘wops’, ‘niggers’, and even ‘Paddies’, ‘Jocks’ and ‘Tafﬁes’ and other euphemisms for foreigners was generally articulated in the ﬁction as a racialist paradigm of analysis, which are racialist precisely because they address questions of philosophy, morality, geographical and geopolitical issues. The logical conclusion of such chauvinist attitudes is the belief in "my country right or wrong". It tends to the mythical awareness in the canon of writers like Henley that an ‘ancient sword’ or the flag is the representation of everything one’s country stands for. "What is the Flag of England?" asks Kipling, and the answer appears to be that it is a composite of bunting and proudest standard; try it and you will have to conquer sun, waves, and her mountains and sands. As Field Marshall, Earl Roberts, seated on his equestrian statue, hoped:
"every boy and girl in this country realises that the Union Jack is the ﬂag of the British Empire - whose children they are - the emblem of its greatness." 77.
But the weakness of such heedless loyalty to nationalism triumphant is that it often involves propagandisation of a country’s interests which can result in war, dictatorship, and ultimately ruin. Ideas such as "the national interest", "lebensraum" (elbow room), "a place in the sun" became not so much slogans as self-justifying shibboleths. When national self-interest becomes more important than the rights of, and duties towards subject nations, then violence is the natural corollary; violence as a mindless, ugly, unthinking activity which serves as a defence mechanism providing security based on only the dismissive attitude to the peoples who were the objects of that violence; violence which becomes a kind of initiation rite to the group, in this case the colonialists, a violence spawned by the insecurity felt by the expatriate elite. As a result, the First Great European War and the Vietnams of the twentieth century were the mechanisms of apocalypse incarnate.
Footnotes and References.
1. The terminology used by Ben Okri in his novel The Famished Road, (London, 1991) is used throughout. It is considered unnecessary to make a distinction in orthography between either term - black man or white man.
2. Rider Haggard, King SoIomon’s Mines, (London, 1885).
3. Haggard, Nada the Lily, (London, 1892) page x.
4. E M Forster, A Passage to India, (London, 1916).
5. Somerset Maugham, A Writers Notebook, (London, 1949) First edn, p. 171.
6. Martin Green in Dreams of Adventure, Deeds of Empire (London, 1980).
7. Hugh Ridley, Images of Imperial RuIe, (Beckenham, 1983).
8. ‘The Other’ is a term derived from Lacan in whose
psychoanalytical theory it means that which initiates desire in
one by a recognition of a lack of that element in oneself.
9. George Alfred Henty, Maori and Settler (Indiana, 1891).
10. Henty, "The Sovereign Reader: Scenes from the life and reign of Queen Victoria to the end of the nineteenth century." (London, 1901) p. 256, quoted
in J A Mangan, Beneﬁts Bestowed? (Manchester, 1988).
11. Henty attended Westminster school from September 24, 1847 until April 4, 1851. See John Cargill Thompson, "‘The
Boys’ Dumas’ G A Henty: aspects of Victorian Publishing." (Cheadle, 1975).
12. Henty’s boys‘ story, Capt Bayley's Heir (Indiana, 1889).
13. Henty Capt Bayley’s Heir (Indiana, 1889).
14. Henty Capt Bayle)/s Heir (Indiana, 1889).
15. Henty Capt Bayley's Heir (Indiana, 1889).
16. Henty Capt BayIey's Heir (Indiana, 1889).
17. Henty Capt Bayley’s Heir.
18. Ben Okri, The Famished Road, (London, 1991) p. 278.
19. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines, (London, 1885).
20. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, (New York, 1963) p. 42 Norton edn.
21. John Buchan, Prester John, (London, 1910) p. 18.
22. For a brilliant description of early nineteenth century understandings of the difference between the imaginative and the fantastical, see Stephen Prickett, Victorian Fantasy, (Harmondsworth, 1979).
23. John Buchan, Prester John.
1 24. John Buchan, Prester John.
l 25. John Buchan, Prester John (London, 1910) Nelson edn p. 100.
26. John Buchan, Prester John.
27. John Buchan, Prester John (London, 1910) Nelson edn p. 101.
28. Christine Bolt, Victorian Attitudes to Race (London, 1971) p. 153.
29. See Kesho Yvonne Scot, The Habit of Surviving, (Iowa State, 1991).
30. For a right wing defence of Haggard’s work, see Alan
Sandison, The Wheel of Empire, (London, 1967).
31. Haggard, The Witch's Head n.d. (probably, 1884).
32. Postscript to Allan Quatermain, (London, 1914) Yellow
Jacket edn. p. 255.
33. Haggard, Allan Quatermain, p. 459.
34. Allan Quatermain, p. 459.
35. Alan Sandison, Wheel ofEmpire (London, 1967) p. 72. i
36. Haggard, Allan Quatermain Dover edn. p. 158.
37. Haggard Child of Storm.
38. R L Stevenson in "Across the Plains", published in
Longman’s Magazine, May, 1883, Vol II p. 291.
39. Haggard, postscript to Allan Quatermain under the name of Henry
Curtis p. 255.
40. Haggard The Way of the Spirit p. 10.
41. Rider Haggard, She p. 94.
42. Stevenson and Osbourne in The Beach of F alesa.
43. Kipling, Without Beneﬁt of Clergy from Twenty-one tales.
Selected from the works of Rudyard Kipling. 1865-1936 (London,
44. Eliot L Gilbert in Kipling and the Critics, A Farewell to
Ritual. (London, 1965) p. 182.
45. Emest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa (New York, 1935)
p. 29 Grafton Books edn.
46. Kipling in The Ladies quoted in Marghanita Laski, From Palm to Pine, (London, 1987).
47. Edward W Said Orientalism, (London, 1978).
48. Haggard, Alan Quatermain (London, 1914) Yellow Jacket edn. p. 14.
49. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines, (London, 1887)
Dover Edition, p. 273,4.
50. Rudyard Kipling, Stalky & C0. (London, 1899).
51. P B Ellis, H Rider Haggard, (London, 1978) p. 213.
52. Wendy R Katz Rider Haggard and the Fiction of Empire:
a critical study of British imperial ﬁction. (New York, 1987).
53. Haggard, Allan Quatermain, p. 254.
54. Charles Dickens, Letters. Vol 2. p. 814 quoted in B J
Moore-Gilbert, Kipling and Orientalism (Beckenham, 1986) p. 99.
55. Charles Dickens, Household Words N0. 418 p. 348 quoted
in B J Moore-Gilbert, Kipling and Orientalism (Beckenham, 1986).
56. G A Henty, Rujub the Juggler, Vol 1 p. 3.
57. G A Henty, Rujub the Juggler, Vol 2 p. 46.
58. Rujub the Juggler Vol 1 p. 156.
59. Rudyard Kipling, The White Man’s Burden, Gunga Din
and Other Favorite Poems, Dover Edition, (New York, 1990) p. 52.
The Ballad of East and West quoted in Marghanita Laski, From
Palm to Pine, (London, 1987) p. 43.
60. Rudyard Kipling, Twenty Poems, (London, 1918), Third edn.
61. Kim, London, 1908. p. 136.
62. Translation of The Bibliotheque Onentale d’Herbelot quoted
in Edward W Said, Orientalism (Harmondswonh, 1978) p. 65.
63. Poem as preface to Rudyard Kipling, Twenty Poems,
64. Kipling, "The Conversion of Aurelian Mc Goggin", in
Plain Tales from the Hills.
65. Kim, (London, 1903) PP. 45-46.
66. Meadows Taylor, Seeta, (London, 1872).
67. Mrs Steel’s On the Face of the Waters p. 155 quoted in B J Moore-Gilbert, Kipling and Orientalism, (London, 1986).
68. John MacKenzie, Imperialism and Popular Culture. (Manchester, 1984).
69. See ﬁrst page of Chapter 1, King Solomon’s Mines, (London,
1887) Dover Edition, p. 242.
70. Quoted in Tim Jeal, Baden Powell, (London, 1989).
71. See Gareth Stedman Jones Languages of Class: studies in
English working class history, 1832-1982 (Cambridge, 1983).
72. Alan Sandison, Wheel of Empire (London, 1967).
73. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines, (London, 1885)
pp. 283-291 Dover edn.
74. T E Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, (London, 1926) 1974 edn. p. 29.
75. In James Morris, Heaven's Command, (London, 1973) pp. 278-9.
76. Kipling, "The Flag of England" in Lyra Heroica, A Book of Verse for Boys ed. W E Henley, (Long Acre, 1906).
77. A statue of the mounted Earl Roberts is to be seen in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow. Lines quoted in Guy Arnold, Held Fast for England: G A Henty, Imperialist Boys’ Writer, (London 1980).
Science and Technology in the Romance form
The writers of the late nineteenth century used machinery and tools, technical language and techniques, and futurism to reinforce their imperialist concepts and presented these concerns as an heroic feature of the genre. Whether it was radio transmission or a new bridge design, Kipling found room for admiration. In fact, the writers of the period appeared to venerate invention. The praise for professional in-words and codes was commonly found in the literature. Henley wrote in favour of speed and lauded modern inventions like the motor car in his work. The love of machines and the lore of their maintenance is a recurring theme, with poems by Kipling praising a kind of Pax Britannica of the machine hurtling towards its destiny, demonstrating how the personal quest for power can be expressed through machinery. The main theme of Kipling’s poetry of the machine is that calm, masculine courage is still detennined by mechanisation. In "McAndrew’s Hymn", when a passenger enquiries of McAnd.rew whether steam "spoils romance at sea", the engineer replies by describing the new foms of danger faced by the technician:
I’d been doon that mom to see what ailed the throws,
Manholin’, on my back - the cranks three inches off my nose. 1.
The engineer's reply is a laudation of the profession of engineering. Kipling uses machine language for its own sake, in a style which is most viable when it expresses the clarity and the logicality of engineering. He uses the language of the technicians themselves, and we would refer here to the spelling system he uses to capture the Scottish accent and the loss of endings. His language is not derived from romantic descriptions of nature, although he could not escape completely from Victorian literary conventions. He became the ﬁrst writer to use the language of the engineer as the language of literature. His use of language reﬂects the engineering plain style in design and is adapted to more functionalist machinery and to more austere building. His engineers recognised that to do.a job efﬁciently was the only certainty of success and Kipling would hardly have allowed for any margin of error in his mechanics or in their machines.
In Kipling’s work there is a reference to the romance of steam and the gloriﬁcation of power, with the arrival of a steam train captured on ﬁlm, "...all unseen / Romance brought up the nine- fifteen". it is a romance deﬁned in terms of a triumph over danger through physical courage. Kipling praises the excellence of the railway system with its steam hauled expresses, and in his use of the word "romance" is using the word in the same sense as would have Joseph Conrad or Robert Louis Stevenson.
Kipling again praised the efﬁciency of the pilot and the excellence of the ﬂight in his tale 'With the Night Mail' 2. The electrical storm endured during the ﬂight is only one of the dangers this hardy breed of captain and crew would overcome.
Kipling wrote this hymn to machines hurtling through the night to reach their many and varied destinations. He invents fantastic machinery, and uses in his poems technical terms to describe it which helps to keep the meaning moderately intelligible to the layman:
His hand was on the lever laid
His oil-can soothed the worrying cranks
His whistle waked the snowbound grade,
His foghorn cut the reeking Banks
By dock and deep and mine and mill
The Boy-God reckless laboured still! 3.
He enshrined in his stories the very essence of engineering. If it related to a new bridge design, then every technical detail was used to complete the scene such as in a description of the Findlayson bridge "with its approaches, his work was one mile and three-quarters in length; a lattice-girder bridge, trussed with the Findlayson truss, standing on seven-and-twenty brick piers". 4.
Kipling was interested in the modem developments in cinematography. Practical pictures had become available by the nineties, but talking pictures were not demonstrated until Ruhmer’s system was designed in 1900, followed by Eugene Lauste’s in 1906. The latter system was essentially modem in form and satisfactory in most respects apparently, but it failed from lack of ampliﬁcation. 5.
One of his circle, Henley’s poem, "A Song of Speed", glorifies the wonders of modem technology, in particular the motor car. Inspired by a newspaper magnate’s car, the subject of his eulogy, written in 1903, is a gleaming Mercedes open tourer:
A Song of Speed
Hence the Mercedes!
Look at her. Shapeless?
Yes; but the strength
Of some seventy-ﬁve horses:
Superb fellow creatures:
Is summed and contained
In her pipes and cylinders.
Henley gives a sense of its aliveness, and there is an animal power to the machine which he appears to admire more than all, despite its ugly and unbumished exterior. He personiﬁes, or at least anthropomorphises the machine. He, like Kipling, seems to delight in its sense of speed, and its technical reﬁnements.
The poem continues with a gloriﬁcation of God-made-machinery. The machine is seen as a providential gift with speed becoming a symbol of worship. It functions as a paradigm of understanding of rhythm to convey an essence of speed and power:
And at times when He feels
That His creatures are doing
Their best to assert
Their pan in His dream,
He loosens His fist
And a miracle slips from it
Into the hands
Of his adepts and servants...
Thus hath he slackened
His grasp, and this Thing
This marvellous Mercedes,
This triumphing contrivance,
Comes to make other
Man’s life than she found it:
The Earth for her tyres
As the Sea for his keels. 6.
Although this early twentieth century poetry did not turn into a genre, the speed poem was written as a companion to "A Song of the Sword". The poem was the subject of a letter to Charles Whibley expressing astonishment at its success:
Would you be surprised to hear that I've been safely delivered of a certain "Song of Speed",
which they that know say is far and away better than the Sword? You will read it shortly in the World's Work. It is dedicated to Alfred Harmsworth, and relates to motor-cars; with special reference to his incomparable Mercedes. 7.
Parodies of the poem were soon to follow, as a letter by Henley on June 2 of the same year to Whibley makes clear:
''l’m told there’s an excellent parody of"Speed" in the new Cornhill. Also that there was another in a late Idler, and yet another, by E V Lucas, in the Monthly Magazine for May. I’ve seen, as yet, none! ''8.
Kipling, in a sense of the aliveness of inanimate and animate objects, wrote to Henley, on the subject of the collision of two great Titans (of Literature?), and, incidentally, in a most extraordinary confession of their proclivities, explained in a pesonal letter that:
“The way collisions at sea come about is this...the iron in the mine and under the hammer, and in the plates and engine-room, has a sort of blind lust beaten into it, for to meet and I suppose nautically to copulate with other iron and steel being linked into the frame of another ship. All the seven seas over, the ship yearns for its mate, tearing along under moon and cloud...rusting in dock; and so forth. At last comes the bridal night wind, current and set of the sea aiding, while the eyes of men are held, and steamer meets steamer in a big kiss, and sink down to cool off in the waterbeds.” 9.
Kipling used terms like panee lao, (bring water swiftly) juidee, (Be quick) marrow, (hit) and Harry By! (O brother) 10. as euphemisms for other imperial exhortations to conform to a soldier’s demands, illustrating how he sometimes used the language of the soldier. Kipling, used, too, the language of the working man in an attempt to level down at barrack room level. In Barrack Room Ballads he is in complete control of the language of the soldier, although it contains much of "the atrocious lingo - a mixture of all the slangs of the world", as W E Henley put it "with a rank, peculiar ﬂavour of its own - of Thomas Atkins". In addition, Henley maintained that he wrote in "Atkinese": "he is so thoroughly conscious of its capacities", he pontiﬁcated "that he can and does use it not only to state facts and express ideas withal but also as a means of producing these effects in the arrangements of words that belong to pure art" ll. Kipling’s preoccupations with how to speak and behave are also seen in Aurelian McGoggin, his implausibly correct young man, who attempts to hold on to impossible notions of his superiority which ﬁnally drive him to suicide.
But in the use of technology and the laudation of the language and professionalism of engineering; in the praise for profe sional jargon in the canon of writers under consideration there is, in one sense, an implicit refutation of nineteenth century writing because it stressed the debilitating effect of progress by contrasting it with an heroic past, calling on aspects of chivalry and of heraldry. It should be recalled that the whole backlash contained within certain intellectual circles of the period was a rejection of the notion of continued improvement and mechanisation. That some artists, such as Haggard and Lang, and Stevenson, retracted into the writing of romance is hardly surprising. In fact there was an attempted revival of chivalry, with Allan Quatermain as a second Arthur in parts of Africa, and notions of emasculated manhood due directly to the onset of the machine age. The emergence of groups, as we have seen, like the Boys’ Brigade, Scouts, and the rise of adventure ﬁction for a more educated class after 1870 as a form of escape from technology, from the rise of the urban conurbation, and from the effects of machinery on the person, were all symptomatic of this movement.
Rider Haggard, too, was given to the use of technical, botantical and medical terms in his work. The author sought to promote the notion that his characters were well-versed in anthropological, zoological, botanical and scientiﬁc skills. His protagonist, Allan Quaterrnain, although of mean education, admitted to the reading of novels, and was capable to use advanced ballistic materials and to annotate his logs and joumals with an account of foreign and exotic species of plants which he had encountered. As a narrator of the adventures he was:
"more accustomed to handle a riﬂe than a pen, and (I) did not make any pretence to the grand literary ﬂights and ﬂourishes which I see in novels - for I sometimes like to read a novel."
and this led to the further observation that Quatertnain had discovered:
"eight varieties of antelope with which (I) was previously unrelated and many new species of plants for the most part of the bulbous tribe." l2.
If he had had time a linguistic study of the Zulu and the Kikuana dialects would have been made, and Alan Quatennain claims, conﬁdently, that a few more pages might have been legitimately added to the text to the consideration of the indigenous flora and fauna of Kikuananland. Indeed, he had not dealt with the anthropological question of "the domestic and family customs of the Kikuanas, many of which are exceedingly quaint", nor with the technological study of their "proﬁciency in the art of smelting and welding metals", going on to add that, "The last they carry to considerable perfection, of which a good example is to be seen in their ‘tollas’ or heavy throwing knives, the backs of these knives being made of hammered iron, and the edges of beautiful steel welded with great skill on to the iron backs". Many of these items were to be catalogued by Quatermain in King Solomon's Mines, but he decided incomprehensibly to leave them to a subsequent volume, presumably because they needed so much space and detail to enumerate.
Missionary McKenzie was a cleric with an interest in botany, who reared an African garden which outshone its English counterpart due to the climate;
"First of all there were rows upon rows of standard European fruit-trees, all grafted; for on top of this hill the climate was so temperate that very nearly all the English vegetables, trees, and ﬂowers ﬂourished luxuriantly, even including severalvarieties of apple, which, generally speaking, runs to wood in a warm climate and obstinately declines to fruit. Then there were strawberries and tomatoes, such tomatoes! melons and cucumbers, and, indeed, every son of vegetable and fruit."13.
Veritably an African Eden in the English mode. For characters who were attempting to escape what many would see as a colourless and deprived period of history, this attempt at providing an African setting more physically and technologically rewarding than at home was suspect.
The effect of advanced technology is all apparent in his novel, King Solomon’: Mines, the effect upon the Kikuana people of the weapons which Captain Good’s party carry is so great that"a groan of terror burst from the group before us". l4. The riﬂes are so ffective that they are said to "roar out in thunder and slay from afar". At one point the Hausa people hang guns in trees and pray to them as symbols of western magic.
Haggard used the contemporary study of anthropology as a framework for his novel, referring to aspects of social organisation and law in his writings. In Nada the Lily he attempts to portray an African society in which polygamy is the norm. In She he portrayed a society in which there is the cult of the feminine which cements a lost civilisation. Ayesha does not exactly mean to represent the kind of early assertion of femininity that an Olive Schreiner (the feminist author of "The Story of an African Farm" and one of Haggard’s mentors) had advocated, but the basic viewpoint is the same. When in She a Armahagger woman steps up to the lovable servant Job and publicly kisses him, his reaction is one of incredulity: "‘Be off with you! Get away, you minx!’ he shouted", and when Ustane approaches the attractive bachelor Holly, the limitations of the lifespan of the group are evident from the reactions of the surrounding people. "The hussy! Well, I never," gasps Job. But it is all a matter of cultural relativity, for Haggard comments that morality is:
"an affair of latitude and religion, and what is right in one place is wrong in another. lt must, however, be understood that, since all civilised nations appear to accept it as an axiom that ceremony is the touchstone of morals, there is, even according to our canons, nothing immoral about this Amahagger custom, since the public interchange of an embrace answers to our ceremony of marriage which, as we know, justiﬁes most things." 15.
He could be clear on the point that the Zu-Vendis people had a rule of law which was far less materialistic than that of the west. Contrasted with the prevailing system of justice of the Zu-Vendis, the emphasis on materialism which Haggard places on the west was seen as a corrupting inﬂuence:
"The laws of the country (Zu-Vendis) is, on the whole, mild and just, but differs in several respects from our civilised law. For instance, the law of England is much more severe upon offences against property than against the person, as becomes a people whose ruling passion is money. A man may half-kick his wifeto death or inﬂict horrible sufferings upon his children ata cheaper rate of punishment than he can compound for the theft of a pair of old boots."
In "Finished" Haggard deals comprehensively with the Zulu nation and he establishes early on that the rule of law prevails in Zululand. The Zulus take part in a council of war at which Cetshwayo, the Zulu chieftain and his advisers must decide one way or another on what action to take. The ruler, totally committed to justice, favours arbitration - hardly what Zikali wants. So Zikali stage manages the appearance of a white goddess, the Nomkubulwana who indicates to the Zulus by a sign that it is the time for steel. 16.
Haggard wanted to put forward the idea of the Zulus as having the potential and the spiritual dimensions which made them capable of being transfomied into the most advanced peoples (but not without implying that they were backward and intellectually inferior). After his last visit to South East Africa, he prophesied:
"In the case of the Zulus, civilisation has one of its greatest opportunities, for certainly in them there is a spirit which can be led on to higher things. My earnest hope...is that this opportunity may not continue to be neglected in the years to come. If so, it seems to me that we shall incur a heavy responsibility towards a bewildered people, that we have broken and never tried to mend, and suffer evils to arise of which the effect will not be endured by them alone." 17.
Haggard’s repeated exhortations to military preparedness could not have reached fruition without the dependence on technology, and the advances in military organisation and equipment which he featured in his works. Not only were his characters equipped with the latest riﬂes and bullets, but their unﬂinching superiority in social arrangement, morality and power were self- evident. It is beyond question that Quatermain arrived in Africa by steamship and used the Martini-Henry where appropriate, and had at his disposal tables of reckoning, compasses and other western technological, medical and scientiﬁc improvements.
The overweening and self-conﬁdent expansionism of the period that continued from 1851 to 1901 was encapsulated in the Great Exhibition of 1851. Symbolising the ideals and achievements of the early Victorians, its glittering glass-covered structure housed every aspect of arts, industry and commerce. Queen Victoria, on the 29th April, writing in her diary in the full flush of a happy marriage had been quite certain of the prospects: "We are capable of doing anything," she attested. Indeed, the Great Exhibition of that year at the Crystal Palace was testimony to those words. With its 100,000 exhibits, it was, perhaps, the greatest occasion of Victoria’s reign. Its theme was that of a great international exposition displaying works from every comer of the Empire. Originated by Prince Albert and aided by Lyon Playfair, exhibits were organised into raw materials, the manufactures which were made from them, and the arts which adorned them. They were not organised according to countries of origin, and only 520 out of the 14,000 exhibitors came from the Empire. Foreign and colonial goods were exhibited in the eastem wing and those from the tropics placed nearest the transept. Queen Victoria remarked, with usual Victorian understatement, that "Canada made an admirable show" and India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), the West Indies and Malta all made contributions.
Lord Alfred Tennyson in his grandiloquent "Ode Sung at the Opening of the Intemational Exhibition in the Crystal Palace" declaimed:
''Uplift a thousand voices full of sweet, In this wide hall with earth's invention stored, And praise the invisible universal Lord, Who lets once more in peace the nations meet, Where Science, Art and Labour have ourpour‘d Their myriad homs of plenty at our feet." 18.
The belief he demonstrated in the rightfulness of Victorian ownership was symptomatic of the times, but hardly took account of the inequalities in its distribution.
What was occurring in that period was that the late Victorians were having to come to terms with many major inventions that were revolutionising their way of life; their homes, workplaces, schools, vehicles, and their entertainment and travel arrange- ments. The improvements in steam propulsion were instrumental in the opening up of the colonies by sea. India had been accessible since the days of sail, but one of the earliest steam companies was the Paciﬁc and Orient (P & O). Passengers sailing out to India had long been used to the best method of travelling as P O S H which meant "port out, starboard home" as the precursor of today’s slang word. The company had origi-nated as the Dublin and London Steam Packet C0. and after 1835, with the introduction of its service to Vigo in Spain, it became the Peninsular Steam Navigation Co. In 1840 it extended its line to Malta and Alexandria, and across Egypt by land, Thomas Cook and Co. specialising in the travel arrangements, as always.
After the building of the Suez Canal, it continued its service and entered the Red Sea into the Indian Ocean, and on to Calcutta. The Hindostan, 1,800 tons and 52 horsepower, was the vessel employed in this trip, and later the Himalaya, 3,500 tons, made the journey. Speeds of eight or ten knots were achieved in the 1840s and by the mid 1850s eleven to fourteen knots were reached. Malaysia, Singapore and China became destinations by the 1860s and Australia was reached by steam as well, with coaling stations arranged along the route, the coal for the Suez depot being brought across the Egyptian desert by camel pack.
Cross Atlantic steam ship services began in 1840 after the Sirius and the Great Western had crossed the Atlantic on steam alone. The ﬁrst of the Cunard liners was the Britannia.
The challenge of crossing the oceans and bracing oneself to the sea breezes was one frequently met by Haggard, Kipling and company as they sailed on cruise liners to Southern Africa. In those days of steam travel ocean liners afforded a luxury and elegance never experienced in the days of sail. The ship’s library could provide ample material for a novelist and always carried the latest adventure stories of a Stevenson, a Buchan or a Haggard for that matter. There is an unsubstantiated story of one voyage where the issue of the latest Marie Corelli was a matter of some contention and all of the passengers were vying for it.
Many of the Cunard liners were used as cruise liners, not least of which was the Britannia. Their cabins were well ﬁtted, Port Lectures were well rehearsed and deeply researched and there would be commentary from the captain during the most interesting passages, and for whale spotting. In the ﬁrst class restaurant the food was excellent, while less so in steerage. The vessels were smooth and elegant and the stopovers were particularly delightful.
Journeys by Haggard included one aboard the Kinfauns Castle with members of the Dominions Commission in 1912. After a long voyage from England, stopping for a couple of weeks in Madeira, they arrived in South Africa after a total joumey of five weeks. This return to Southern Africa after so many years alighted in Haggard many memories. Writing in his diary, regretful of the passing of the years, he complained, "I have passed from youth to age since then...Much has changed but the sunshine is the same." 19.
Coming back on the way home Haggard used the time spent under steam to write up his diary in his cabin: "So ends my visit to South Africa," he wrote, "on the whole it has been successful, if sad in ways, I am truly grateful for the extreme kindness with which I have been welcomed everywhere, in fact I have experienced quite a little triumph. Affectionate as was my greeting I think really it was more to do with the fact that I am a sort of curiosity, a survival from a past generation, than to my own individuality...So to South Africa farewell." 20.
Tripping down the gangplank onto South African soil, Kipling would have been greeted, just as he was in America, by groups of joumalists eager to interview him about his visit and to obtain details of his itinerary. What is clear is that his joumeys were undertaken for reasons of health as well as any literary or ﬁnancial expedients.
Kipling also travelled on cross Channel crossings, writing from the R.M.S.S. Normandia on one occasion to Haggard "l wish you were along too. You’d cuss the cold - in spite of the lavish and odorous steam-heat - but you'd like the smell of the docks again." 21.
There were cross Channel steamers and packets of all kinds; indeed Dickens referred to such a spy-ridden packet in A Tale of Two Cities, but in the late eighteenth century, when the story was set, that would have still been a sailing ship. By 1875, however, even a twin-hulled Channel steamship had been tried out, its twin hulls bridged over by one deck, the space between being occupied by the paddle wheels. The effect of stabilisation was achieved by each hull acting as an outrigger to the other and thus neutralising the rolling effect caused by the waves. In that year the joumey from Dover to Calais took just under two hours, and this time was much reduced by the turn of the century, as faster craft took the place of the "Castalia", as it was known.
The Royal Navy, too was no stranger to steam and in 1875 the battleship H M S "Benbow" was commissioned. Rated at 10,000 tons, and with 11,500 horse power, it was a massive and daunting prospect for any adversary. Until then a combination of sail and steam had been used, one such vessel being the Shah, 10,000 tons and in 1873 it had been the fastest in the navy. it was 337 feet in length and its breadth was 50 feet. Using both sail and steam, the ship was capable of 18 knots. The Inﬂexible of 1876 was an originally conceived unrigged ironclad known as a "monitor". With amour plating 16 to 24 inches thick the vessel was armed to the gunwales with four 81 ton guns. Actually, depending entirely on its motor power, it could achieve a rate of 14 knots; not particularly fast, but with such huge ﬁre power speed was, arguably, unnecessary. 22.
Another use for steam was in the powering of the ubiquitous gunboat, a wide, flat-bottomed craft which was used for "gunboat diplomacy" in shallow rivers, yet it was strong enough to be used to ride out in the open sea. Such a vessel Conrad must have had in mind when he described a gunboat shelling the African shore in Heart of Darkness. A Chinese writer described the gunboat in 1843 thus: "On each side is the wheel which by the use of coal ﬁre is made to revolve as fast as a horse...Steam vessels are a wonderful invention of foreigners, and are calculated to offer delight to many." 23.
The invention of gunpowder was a distant memory in Victorian times, but without the increased improvements in ballistics and the manufacture of improved munitions, a virtual gun revolution could not have taken place in the 1860s, which continued up to and was completed in the 1890s. The early machine guns were cranky affairs with numerous barrels, such as the Gatling of American Civil War fame. The explorer H M Stanley admired a machine gun produced by the American inventor, H Maxim, at Woolwich Arsenal in 1887 and, after firing 333 shots in 30 seconds, commented that, "it is a ﬁne weapon, and will be invaluable for subduing the heathen". The gun used only one barrel and was light enough to be carried on the back of an infantryman.
The type of gun referred to by Haggard when he mentioned the use of the Martini-Henry (see chapter 4) was a breechloading, repeating riﬂe capable of ﬁring repeated rounds, with a calibre of 11-11.5 millimetres. Fast, light, accurate and weather proof, it was the pride and joy of the British army in the eighteen-seventies. In addition to this weapon, Sir Henry Good carried "three heavy breech-loading double-eight elephant guns", "Three double .500 expresses", "One double No. 12 central- fire Keeper’s shotgun, full choke both barrels", "Three Winchester repeating riﬂes" and besides spare guns, "Three single- action Colt’s revolvers, with the heavier pattern of cartridge". 24.
Alongside these improvements in guns went improved ballistics. The invention of smokeless powder meant a soldier could fire his riﬂe without being detected, and reduced the need to frequently clean the barrel. Burning more evenly, smokeless powder produced more velocity than gunpowder and was resistant to moisture. The invention of eordite assisted in colonial expansion because it was more stable in high temperatures. With smaller and smaller calibre rifles, (8mms by 1890), and these signiﬁcant improvements in ballistics, the scene was set for the domination of Africa and Asia. 25.
On a lighter note, the invention of the phonograph became the crowning wonder of an exhibition held in London at the Royal Institute. A cartridge having been prepared by the poet Tennyson, visitors were able to hear the words of his poem (later set to music), "Come into the garden, Maud", recited by the author himself. Crowds collected to hear the miracle of speech recorded for posterity, and were only persuaded to disperse with great diplomacy.
In the Victorian novel, the innovations in machinery were such that the demands of a new generation of readers could be satisﬁed by the improved techniques of printing. Compositors were able, by virtue of the "New Steam Type Composing Machine" to set up to about twelve thousand types per hour as against an earlier average of two thousand. The machine invented by McKenzie was regulated by a perforated, thick paper in a continuous strip of about ﬁve cms wide. 26. Improvements in typesetting meant that problems such as spacing, adjusting the length of the line and hyphenating words that must be separated was taken care of. The copy was composed on the steam type composing machine and printed out far more rapidly than hithertofore possible. Corrections could be handled more easily and editing instructions easily undertaken by the machine.
The world of those Victorian novels was a world of very few motor cars. Not until a tricycle was built driven by an internal combustion engine, with benzoline vapour exploded by an electric spark inside its one cylinder, did the "horse-less carriage" appear in England. Gottlieb Daimler and others in France had built such elementary motor cars which, unloaded, with an internal water cooled combustion engine, could reach speeds of forty- two kilometres per hour, although they were still forbidden to travel at more than one and a half kilometres per hour. Under the terms of the Red Flag Act of 1865 they were to be preceded by 50 metres by a man on foot showing a red ﬂag, in order for horses not to be fnghtened and pedestrians inconvenienced. These regulations worked to the beneﬁt of the railways, and it was not until the repeal of the Act in 1896 that the motor car could flourish but, even then they were treated by many as objects of derision.
Railways were by now constructed for trains to run all over the land steaming through the embankments, running over viaducts, slicing through cuttings, and plunging across bridges, such as Kipling’s Findlayson bridge or, as in one of his evocative pieces, rolling:
''out across one of the railway bridges, and its thunder drowned for a minute the dull roar of the streets. The Nilghai looked at his watch and said shortly, "That’s the Paris night-mail. You can book from here to St. Petersburg if you choose." 27.
The passenger railway was not unfamiliar to the Victorian, it having originated in Lancashire with the Stockton to Darlington line. An early passenger (horse drawn) railway had existed on the South Wales coast, running from Swansea Town (The Slip) to Mumbles (Oysterrnouth) since 1804, facilitating industry and commerce there. The opening of the ﬁrst steam drawn underground railway - the Metropolitan Railway into Baker Street - was also an interesting feature of mid-Victorian travel arrangements allowing much easier movements across the city for Londoners.
Whether ascending into the heavens by balloons or descending into the depths by submarine, a world was waiting to be conquered. In one ill-fated experiment, the balloonist Monsieur Croce-Spinelli was the cause of the demise of two of the three hot air aviators who met a death occasioned by the too rapid ascent to over ﬁve miles.
On another occasion, during the siege of Paris in 1870 an engineer, Dupuy de Lome, demonstrated a balloon with steering aided by a rudder, during a gale and the "dirigible" was able to turn in a 22 degree deviation from the course of the air current. The propeller, turned manually, powered the balloon faster than the prevailing wind speed. Presumably de Lome was able to escape from Paris by means of his early craft.
Such was the need to communicate that a network of telegraph wires and submarine cables was created which transmitted messages from one end of the globe to the other with remarkable speed and efﬁciency. Before that it had taken between ﬁve and eight months for a letter to be sent and delivered, and for an answer to be received the sender could not expect it to arrive for a similar period of time - the total communication taking any- thing from ten months to up to two years. In 1857-8 the first trans-oceanic cable linked England with America, and by 1858 a cable had been successfully laid to India; these cables being termed "the grand Victorian technology" by Bemard Finn, a recent commentator, though it was, arguably, an inappropriate term because the early cable to America failed after transmitting precious few messages and the ﬁrst Indian cable transmitted no messages at all, although it had cost 800,000 pounds to stretch across the oceans. A few years later with improved techniques such as the curb transmission which put a reverse pulse immediately after the main pulse, there was a triumph over all odds. Duplex transmission, which is still used today, used transmission in both directions. Utopia was one step nearer. 28.
It is curious to observe that such was the success of machinery that seventy-two per cent of the submarine cables laid by 1900 were British owned and would nearly have reached the moon, covering a distance of 190,000 miles. They were owned for the most part by the Eastem and Associated Telegraph Cos. According to Richard Hill, the author of a history of Egypt’s role in the Sudan from 1820-1881, Lord Kitchener was able to communicate with Whitehall during the Fashoda campaign via a telegraph cable passing under the Nile, while his French enemy Marchand was unable to rapidly contact his foreign ministry. 29. In the Jameson Raid of 1895-96 "the telegraph intensiﬁed involvement but denied (Colonial Secretary) Chamberlain its corollary, control", wrote Robert Kubicek. 30. The possession of cables meant that Europeans who were engaged in colonising land in 1880 were far better equipped for the task than their predecessors. By 1900, Powers operating without such technology or equipment were unlikely to succeed in their imperial adventures.
And, describing these submarine cables in an exotic manner, Kipling conveyed in his poem The Deep Sea Cables the fascinating nature of the invention:
There is no sound, no echo of sound, in the desertsof the deep,
Or the great grey level plains of ooze where the shell-blurred cables creep.
Then: in the womb of the world - here on the tie -ribs of earth
Words, and the words of men, ﬂicker and ﬂutter and beat. 31.
Wireless telegraphy, so admired by Kipling as a means of transcending time and space, was in existence by the end of the century. The ﬁrst cross-Channel signal was received in 1899, one year before the end of the nineteenth century. The large wireless aerial at Poldhu in Comwall was to receive and transmit signals across the Atlantic a couple of years later. His story, "Wireless" was written in the early days of radio, Kipling incorporating inventions into his work as soon as they happened.
Cinema, too, received the same attention, and in his novel ''Mrs Balhhurst'', 32. published in 1904, he used the invention of the cinema as a main plot device.
A submarine capable of diving to a depth of ﬁfty metres was then practicable. Built of steel, they were rudimentary but sound. Able to solve the problems of submarine navigation, one Nordenfelt went some way towards producing a competent vessel able to withstand the enormous pressures produced by water at that depth. The motive power was steam and was capable of being stoked when above the water; when below the ﬁres were sealed and reserve high-pressure steam was used. Thrust through the sea at a speed of three miles per hour, the speed on the surface reached eight knots.
Medical advances, for example, in the use of the plant Cinchona to combat the microbe Plasmodium falciparium, the cause of malaria, allowed the expansion into Africa of Haggard’s characters bolstered by the medicine, quinine. Europeans had succumbed to malaria for centuries and, coming from trees grown in the Andes, the supply of Cinchona bark was limited and expensive. What was worse, the supply was often adulterated and inferior in quality. A breakthrough came in 1820 when French chemists began to reﬁne the alkaloid of quinine. Two physicians, Antonini and Maillot succeeded in curing patients in Algeria suffering from malaria and also from typhoid fever. The dispensing of the prophylaxis, quinine, became an essential prerequisite of any travel into the interior of Africa and other malarial areas where the malaria carrying mosquito was prevalent.
Thanks to the work of botanists and scientists like Richard Spruce, the cultivation and growth of Cinchona bark in Asia became possible and the increase in demand for quinine could be satisﬁed. As a result of the blanket use of quinine prophylaxis, no longer was Africa "the white man’s grave", but explorers like Captain Good and Sir Henry Curtis in Rider Haggard’s ''King Solomon’s Mines'', (London, 1885) could venture there with impunity.
The beneﬁcial effects of giving measured dosages of quinine to anyone suffering from fever were underlined in Haggard‘s novel She, and the preventative effect of using quinine was known to the narrator of his work, Ludwig Holly. As the servant, Job, was suffering from an acute attack of yellow fever, he was:
"...almost incapable of helping himself. Then I did the only thing it was possible to do under the circumstances - gave them both about ten grains of quinine and took a slightly smaller dose myself as a matter of precaution." 33.
W E Henley was interested in the advances in medical science and examined the effects of anaesthetics in his hospital poem, Operation. It is notable not only for a realistic investigation of the effects of anaesthesia, but for its poetic device of distancing the reader from the sense of consciousness as the effect of anaesthetism becomes increasingly apparent:
You are carried in a basket,
Like a carcase from the shambles,
To the theatre, a cockpit
Where they stretch you on a table.
Then they bid you close your eyelids,
And they mask you with a napkin,
And the anaesthetic reaches
Hot and subtle through your being
And you gasp and reel and shudder
In a rushing, swaying rapture,
While the voices at your elbow
Fade - receding - fainter - farther. 34.
Dirigibles, elevated railways, electric contrivances of all kinds, electric trains and cars, the dynamo and electric power station, the microphone, the telephone, the phonograph and the cinema, steam engines driving all sorts of machinery, electric lights, submarine cables, the printing press, and bicycles of many new shapes, ball bearings and tubings - all were the fantastic improvements in the life and times of the late Victorians, and of course many of them were featured and extolled in the literature.
Adventurous young men carried with them on their imperial joumeys Kipling’s banjo ("pukka, pukka, pooka, pukka, pompom") enabled by yachts powered by steam engines capable of - kilometres per hour. They learnt their music from sheets printed by electro-printing methods, drunk their refreshing draughts of India Pale Ale specially brewed for travel and shipped at speed to India; most welcome to thirsts accumulated for months without assuaging. Cleaning their tunic belts with blanco imported from Alexandria on ships which had refuelled at coaling stations there and unlikely to see fresh new faces until the next shipment of recruits arrived, they contented themselves with Indian curries, Vindaloo, Madras, served with pillao, nan bread, and - hottest of all - the Bihari-ﬂavoured with salt, greenpeppers, chillies, saffron, cummin or tamarind, and possibly they contented themselves, too, with the blandishments of local hostesses, the most well-known of whom was an English woman, Mrs Hawksby who "queened it in Quetta in the Eighties". 35.
According to Martin Green, the expansionist phase of empire was characterised by its use of precious metals, mines and explosives. 36. In this he is right enough, but he contends quite characteristically and idiosyncratically that a combination of technology, wealth, and ﬁlm could be taken as a basis for discussion on the presentation of Empire imagery to the public. Green showed how the ﬁlm work of both Korda and Balcon promoted a sense of great adventurers like Gordon or Wyngarde smashing their way through the armies of native people with, side by side, technology whining or whirring alongside, travelling under oceans and over mountains and streams with imperial armies conquering land after land and with only the slightest of setbacks. The imperial adventurers were, shows Green, exaltations of the "warrior, explorer, engineer" to whom action and love of race were of a piece - chivalry, adventure, modem techniques, their stamping ground. They followed, Green says, copy book maxims created by adventures such as those undertaken by Kim, and extolled a kind of breed whose destiny was to serve Empire, monarchy and fatherland.
The poets and novelists of the Victorian and Edwardian period could visualise an Utopian future which carried a social message for the present. Kipling’s 'With the Night Mail' portrays its captain as having a kind of "brooding sheathed glance characteristic of eagles and astronauts" and in the year 2065 in which it is set, the world by then has experienced the most profound and comprehensive of changes. Politics have become redundant; everything runs smoothly for there is no government, except for a small and unobtrusive Ariel Board of Control which delegates all private and security functions to the individual. As a result, only people can become a source of menace, such as when they are congregated into crowds. The events which take place in Chicago under such circumstances are the subject of the piece and as an anonymous reviewer claimed in The Athenaeurn:
''Mr Kipling does not describe, but makes the reader's imagination vividly realize the wonders of social navigation, the ground circuits, and the destructive sound-vibrations and withering rays of light, which are the defences and the artillery of the future.'' 37.
Kip1ing’s fascination for technology could be anthropomorphic as in 'The Ship that Found Herself' and in ‘.007’; whilst his feeling for technology is apparent he is too sophisticated to be carried away with it.
In addition to the stress on materialism and technology these writers adopted the philosophy of the most "modern" kind of the intellectual climate of the period. They were neo-Darwinian in their outlook, their ideas stemming from the now largely discredited 38. evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin, which aided them in their erection of a monumental image of the state as in Haggard, or the sword as in Henley, or some such ideal, as an icon for reverence, wholly idealised, and keenly felt. Following Nietzschean ideas of the survival of the ﬁttest, they were able to justify their stories of heroic adventurers steeped in legend and folklore.
Darwin had been struck by the far-reaching changes which plants and animals had undergone in the course of human domestication. By studying the establishment of those artiﬁcial breeds, he had succeeded in identifying the principles of evolution and directed them into scientiﬁc and theoretical channels. Although Darwin’s theory of evolution has proved to be correct with regard to the relatively insigniﬁcant phenomenon of speciation, its larger claim to account for the relationship between the classes and orders, leave alone the origin of life, now rests on very insecure scientiﬁc premises indeed. More and more of his theories such as the linking of birds and reptiles are coming to seem increasingly like the fantasies of Wells and Huxley rather than serious estimates of what occurred at the beginning of life on earth.
However, as a result of this philosophical position, it was no accident that the predominance of the right wing values of the survival of the ﬁttest of Social Darwinism, and the Nietzscean idea of pure will meant that a literary form so congenial to the Tory imagination degenerated into an abuse of the form of romance ﬁction. Haggard compounded his Social Darwinian ideas with a sense of fatalism. His adventurers are thus not so much bom to lead as are followers of their destiny. His fatalistic ideas may have been acquired in East Africa where the religions of the East with their pronounced fatalism abounded, or he may have had a sense of the moral duty of the English to build an Empire, which was endemic in the thought processes of Englishmen of his class and background.
What Henley had in mind with his right wing 'Pro Rege Nostro', the so-called sword poem, must have been a reaction against the ﬁction of the period which largely concerned the vicar and the rattle of teacups in the drawing room. It was not quite an attempt to equate the spirit of romance with a healthy and robust optimism, but it was certainly antipathetic to the pessimism and doubt that pervaded the period and which these writers, indubitably, wished not to be disabled by. Whilst opposed to pessimism they were, nevertheless, in favour of stoicism and its close relative, fatalism. Haggard could simply not accept the idea of chance ruling his life, with its attendant aspects of chaos. His philosophy was of a spiritual determinism, or fatalism, the indeﬁnableness of which leaves room for irrationality and rabid extremism. Justifying his fatalism, Haggard wrote, on going to the Sulaiman Mountains in search of diamonds:
‘You may wonder,’ I went on, ‘why, if I think this, I, who am as I told you a timid man should undertake such a joumey. It is for two reasons. First, I am a Fatalist, and believe that my time is appointed to come quite independent of my own movements, and that if I am to go to Suliman Mountains to be killed, I shall go there and be killed there. God Almighty, no doubt knows his mind about me, so I need not trouble on that point’. 39.
At times Haggard seems as open to Buddhism or Islam as to Christianity. It seems likely that Haggard was inﬂuenced by Melmoth Osbom, the British Resident in Haggard’s days in East Africa, whose ﬁctive counterpart, Alston, in "The Witch's Head" proposes that he believes in a multiplicity of existences on earth and in heaven. Of course, there was room for this plasticity of lives in She also where the multiplicity of She’s existences and multiple incarnations is underscored:
''She herself must die, I say, or rather change, and must sleep till it be time for her to live again.'' 40
In reply to the question of these endless incarnations Ernest (Haggard himself?) propounds the belief that the fundamental and one deity underlies all religion. Alston is prepared to accept this view. He does in fact believe in God, but he categorically rejects the idea of God’s complicity in doing wrong:
"I do not deny the Almighty Power. In only deny the cruelty that is attributed to Him. It may be that from the accumulated mass of the wrong and bloodshed and agony of this hard world that Power is building up some high purpose...Our tears and blood and agony may produce some solid end that now we cannot guess; their volume, which cannot be wasted, for nothing is wasted, may be building up one of the rocks of God’s far-off purpose. But that we should be tortured here for a time in order that we may be indeﬁnitely tortured there" and he pointed to the stars, "that I will never believe." 41.
Alston’s position is that God is innocent of the acts of retribtion and punishment, although he does not deny God’s existence. This view is heterodoxical, but again, it may be argued that so is Haggard’s. What worries Alston is the possibility that all the agonies of life, in which he probably includes all the agonies of Empire, too, are pointless. In fact, Haggard may have been more open to iconoclasm than is realised by some recent commentators, for more so than Ernest Kershaw, Haggard allows for more scepticism and relativity in religious matters although always returning in his texts to orthodoxy of faith in an universal order.
If fatalism is the force which takes over where religious authority leaves off, then the question of what determines our actions and of what use they are, Alton speculates, should not undermine our actions themselves. What matters more than control over these forces is our daily struggle with life and morality.
The outcome of all this is that the conclusions that Emest is willing to draw are minimal, and the book ends with him unshaken in his beliefs.
What underlines these fatalistic premises is the opening they give for imperialistic action on the basis that they were manifestations of some higher purpose. Haggard’s imperial servants can thus happily submit to greater forces than themselves and act out the fantasies which were created for them by their author.
An increasing importance was placed in the corpus upon the implications of advanced technologies. One only has to look at various Victorian and Edwardian scenarios of future - War ﬁction or "Invasion novel" of which there was an unusual amount, to see the increasing importance which was being placed on the development of advanced technologies. One famous text on the theme of future war was Chesney’s The Battle of Dorking with its interest in military strategy. There was a deal of future war fiction on the theme of what a future war could be like and with themes underlying concerns of invasion from more powerful European powers, resulting from the events of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, the increasing technological changes leading to a naval confrontation between Britain and Germany and the toings and froings of diplomats engaged in the early twentieth century which removed Britain from its splendid isolation into new international alliances and groupings.
H G Wells preferred to call these novels "fantasias of possibility" 42. because he foresaw with great prescience what could become of the world at a time seven years after Victoria’s death, and because he still recognised it even more clearly when, later on in 1921, he wrote in even more far-seeing terms that:
"National and imperialist rivalries march whole nations at the quickstep towards social collapse. The process goes on as plainly as the militarist process was going on when The War in the Air was written." 43.
But it was W E Henley who encouraged the writing of futurist stories by H G Wells. Although initially unimpressed by Wells’s efforts, he promised him a payment of a hundred pounds for the rights to serialise his stories in The New Review, and ran them from April 1895, even going as far as persuading the publisher, William Heinemann to give Wells an advance of ﬁfty pounds and royalties of ﬁfty per cent for The Time Traveller articles as they were called, and a guarantee of a ﬁrst printing of ten thousand copies of the hardcover edition. It was Henley’s enthusiasm that resulted in getting Wells to produce his imaginative stories, and as soon as he had ﬁnished ''The Time Machine'' as it was renamed, he commenced on ''The Wonderful Visit''. No sooner had he started on that novel than he got lighted up with the idea of ''The Island of Dr Moreau'' which was more in the nature of horror ﬁction. As his son, as a result of the liaison with Rebecca West, Anthony West, has expressed it, "my father was started at last". 44.
Henley wrote to Wells on September 5, 1895, expressing the hope that Wells would apply himself more fully to his work: "You could also do better - far better; and to begin with, you must begin by taking yourself more seriously." Henley’s school- masterly tones were not uncommon for the editor of such a prestigious review as The New Review, and Wells must have taken the advice to heart, for he completed many more truly remarkable stories.
The early stories of Kipling, and to some extent of Wells, illustrate that there was an increasing range of stories which dealt with, but only partly succeeded in engaging, the sensitivities and emotions of the engineer and the scientist, and involved not only the susceptibilities and emotional stresses but the increasing sense of elan and vitality afforded to the Victorian world by the machine. The use of the word "romance" by Kipling in his "romance of the machine" goes some way towards underlining this concern, and in announcing the romance form as a ‘new’ genre (although, as we have said, it was not new, but an abuse of an existing form) they were showing that the possibilities for buoyant, vigorous and chivalric action and energetic, technically oriented adventures for boys with men reading over their shoulders were not only demonstrable but were actually enhanced by mechanisation. Machinery and technology were to be the experimental wonder of an age.
It may be appropriate to consider what pressures or concerns led to the issues which are identiﬁed in this study of the masculine novel of adventure and the romance. There can be little doubt that, due to the repression and excessive respectability of the times men, looking over the shoulder of boys, took refuge in innocent romantic and homosocial pastimes such as the reading of romances. That they did so derived largely from the prudery and hypocrisy of the period.
The writers of the period took part in a homosocial genre which was an aberration from the established pattern which was not, as we have attempted to show "new" but was rather an old form in disguise. Based on notions of romance derived largely from Scott, they took part collaboratively in a heated form of writing which was profoundly un-Scottian. Scott, we remembered, was a precursor of a highly romanticised and sublime view of Scotland as a historical place with notions of myth and legend coming down from Greek times. The arcadian places he described and the highly "romantic" view of Scotland he portrayed were concepts of which Lang, in particular was inordinately fond.
But there was in this boys’ literature, and in the intense make- believe of the boys’ organisations, a rejection of the moralising so prevalent in the times, which was largely evidence of a double standard in morality. The presence of boys, and the absence of women, reﬂected a desire to reduce the signiﬁcance of the participation of adults in such adventure stories. Their emotional focusing on boys, and on empire, is a feature of the homosocial ﬁction of adventure and quest, in a genre engaged in the rhetoric of chauvinism, patemalism and supremacism with its romantic assertions of chivalry and masculinity, which we particularly emphasise.
The Games People Play today are the games boys played of yesterday. When H Rider Haggard came along with ''King Solomon's Mines'' it must have burst on the scene like a bombshell. The effect of the novel on the public, with ﬂyers and posters out on the streets to advertise it must have been tremendous, and the social and ﬁnancial success which their authors achieved was unparalleled in literature. The passions arising from a basic tension in the romance genre between romance and realism clouded the central issue in a debate, aspiring as it did, to higher aims and values; a debate which was marked by a heated element which we attempted to show was a screen for the bondings and collaborations behind the literary activities as a key symptom of the genre of imperial fiction. Such bondings were formed largely at the gentlemen’s club, coffee houses, tea rooms and meeting places in the drawing rooms of the fashionable people of the period. The study gave an insight into the secret circles provided by membership of an elite group of writers who wrote and travelled together, and then set up a clubland at the hearth of British patriarchy, to which to return.
Sir Henry Curtis’s perilous journey to the hinterland of Kikuanaland in South East Africa in search of the lost diamond horde of King Solomon’s fabled treasure chamber hidden in a ruined mine beyond the Kulukawe river and over Solomon‘s mountains must have excited the imaginations of boys whose minds were, arguably, constrained by the excessive respectability and overwhelming domesticity of life at home. Although shocking to Victorian sensibilities, some of these stories did examine the psychological dimensions of repression and alienation, in particular the island stories with their sense of remoteness, convictdom and the exploration of expatriation and the sense of banishment felt by many adventurers.
The idea of a lost civilisation in ''She'' with a matriarchical and mysterious queen as a glue to a civilisation had, as we attempted to show, a profound effect upon the genre. But the myth of the fatal woman in literature was not new. She is Hardy’s Tess, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and from another period "La Belle Dame Sans Merci." She is perhaps closer to Flaubert in Salambo than to the cardboard cut-out heroines of Haggard's adventure novels or to the characters in the books for boys which we studied, with whom she is often catalogued.
The escapism which Haggard demonstrates in his largely mythical and imaginative work was, arguably, related to his personal frustration with society’s increasing attachment to the contemporary advances in weaponry, ballistics and improved military technology and techniques. But the enactment of heroism in the context of the time of mass production of weapons of destruction was a worrying feature of the romance form. As a colonialist writer, his experience in S E Africa was distinguished by a love of Zulu lore and myth, and in novels like ''She'', ''Nada the Lilly'' and ''Child of Storm'' he described in some detail Zulu society and ways of life, his pose of cultural relativism not, however, preventing him from making allegations of all kinds of lawlessness, backwardness, moral terpitude, and so on. The conditions which applied in the late Victorian and early Edwardian periods apply even more forcefully in these days. The very barbarity of the romance ''King Solomon's Mines'' with its witchcraft, magic symbolism and such "modern" inventions as false teeth and monocles could lead to a revival of interest in this book today, when violence and nationalism rampant are increasing and tales of adventure and quest appear very tame indeed in comparison with certain of the fare on display in the bookshops.
Footnotes and References.
1. Rudyard Kipling, "McAndrew’s Hymn", in Kipling’s Verse
2. Kipling, With the Night Mail The King, Verse p. 374
quoted in Sussman Victorians and the Machine (Oxford, 1986).
3. The King, Verse p. 374 quoted in Sussman Victorians and
the Machine (Oxford, 1986).
4. Kipling, The Day's Work, V1, 3.
5. S Lilley, Men, Machines and History, (London, 1965).
6. Henley’s poem, "A Song of Speed" in W E Henley,
Poems (London, 1921) p. 265.
7. Letter to Charles Whibley, March 13, 1903. in John Connell,
W E Henley (London, 1949) p. 376.
8. Letter to Charles Whibley, June 2, 1903, in John Cunnell,
9. Carrington, Life ofkudyard Kipling, p. 258 quoted in H M
Sussman, Victorians and the Machine, (Oxford, 1968).
10. Kipling, "Barrack Room Ballads" in Gunga Din, Dover
edn. (New York, 1990).
11. W E Henley in The New Writer, 1890, quoted in Roger
Lancelyn Green, Kipling: the Critical Heritage, (London, 1971) p. 56.
12. Alan Quaterrnain in a footnote to the introduction to King
Solomon's Mines, (London, 1885) Dover edition p. 240.
13. Haggard, Allan Quatermain, (London, 1887) p. 443.
14. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines, (London, 1885), p. 304 Dover edn.
15. Rider Haggard, She (London, 1887) p. 94.
16. Haggard Finished (London, 1917). 250
17. Allan Quatermain, (London, 1887) p. 300 in Sandison The
Wheel of Empire (London, 1967).
18. Lord Tennyson quoted in J M MacKenzie, Propaganda and Empire
19. Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p. 259.
20. Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1968) p. 262.
21. Letter to Haggard (March 12, 1925 Bambridge Collection)
quoted in Morton Cohen, Rider Haggard (London, 1960).
22. For an interesting pictorial guide to the world of the
Victorians, see Allan Bott, Our Fathers (London, 1931) p. 215.
23. Letter from William Huttman, The Nautical Magazine and
Chronicle in Daniel Headrick, The Tools of Empire, (Oxford, 1981).
24. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines (New York, 1951) Dover
25. Allan Bott, Our Fathers (London, 1931) p. 212.
26. Allan Bott, Our Fathers (London, 1931).
27. Kipling, The Light that Failed (London, 1890, p. 107)
quoted in Martin Green, The English Novel in the Twentieth
Century (The Doom of Empire) London, 1984.
28. Bernard Finn, Submarine Telegraphy: The Grand Victorian
Technology, (Margate, 1973) quoted in Daniel Headrick, The
Tools of Empire, (Oxford, 1981).
29. Richard Hill, Egypt in the Sudan, 1820-1881, (London, 1959).
30. Robert V Kubicek, The Administration of Imperialism:
Joseph Chamberlain at the Colonial Office, (Durham, N .C. 1969)
quoted in Heaclrick, The Tentacles of Progress, (Oxford, 1988) p. 107.
31. Kipling, "Verse" p. 173 in Sussman, Victorians and the Machine, (Oxford,
32. Rudyard Kipling, Mrs Bathurst and Other Stories
introduction by John Bayley; edited and annotated by Lisa Lewis (New York, 1991).
33. Haggard, She Dover edn. p. 91.
34. W E Henley, The Works of W E Henley Part 1. Poems (London, 1921).
35. James Morris, Heaven's Command: an Imperial Progress (London, 1973).
36. Martin Green, Dreams of Adventure, Deeds of Empire (London, 1980).
37. Anonymous reviewer in The Athenaeum May, 1917, quoted in Roger Lancelyn
Green, Kipling, The Critical Heritage (London, 1971) p. 319-320.
38. Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (London, 1985). See also Richard Milton:
The Facts of life: Shattering the Myths of Darwinism (London, 1991).
39. Haggard, King Solomon's Mines.
40. Haggard, She (New York, 1951).
41. Haggard, The Witch's Head (London, 1884).
42. Preface to H G Wells, The War in the Air (London, 1908).
43. H G Wells, Preface to the 1921 edn., The War in the Air (London, 1908).
44. Anthony West, H G Wells: Aspects of a Life (London, 1984).