THE TADUKI QUARTET: Four stories about Allan Quatermain

THE TADUKI QUARTET by H. Rider Haggard

The great adventure fantasist H. Rider Haggard, over the course of his 40+-year career, wrote 14 novels dealing with the adventures of perhaps his greatest character, English hunter Allan Quatermain. Four of these are loosely connected affairs that have sometimes been referred to as the “taduki quartet,” taduki being an inhaled drug with mystical properties that features in no less than three of those books. Here, for your one-stop taduki shopping, I present four mini-reviews of the books in this remarkable series, in their chronological order of publishing appearance:

Allan and the Holy Flower (1915) — This is one of the 14 books that H. Rider Haggard wrote (starting with King Solomon's Mines) depicting the adventures of Allan Quatermain, great English hu... Read More

Herland: A very fine feminist utopian novel with some real fantasy elements

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland is a lost-world fantasy in the Haggardian tradition with a decided twist: It functions primarily as a discourse on the supposed but not necessarily actual differences between the two sexes, and as a feminist screed in the utopian genre. Written in 1915, the novel was initially serialized in the pages of Gilman's own monthly magazine, The Forerunner, a publication whose main agenda was to further Gilman's ideas of feminism and socialism.

We are introduced to three very different types of men at the beginning of this story: Terry, a chauvinist kind of man's man with decidedly old-fashioned ideas concerning "women's place"; Jeff, a Galahad type of dreamy idealist, who's fond of putting women on top of proverbial pedestals; and our narrator, ... Read More