Nada the Lily by H. Rider Haggard

Nada the Lily

byH. Rider Haggard

Kobo ebook | May 6, 2017

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Nada the Lily is a historical novel, published in 1892. It tells the origin of Umslopogaas, the illegitimate son of the power-hungry 19th century Zulu king and general Chaka, and his love for the beautiful Nada the Lily (who, despite the book’s title, has a relatively small, albeit significant, role). It is narrated by Mopo the father of Nada, the uncle of Umslopogaas, and doctor to Chaka. Parts of the story are inspired by actual historical events and on folktales that Haggard heard during his time in South Africa. Chaka was a real king of the Zulus. Mopo is based in part on a real person; however Umslopogaas, Nada, and Galazi the Wolf (best friend and right-hand man of Umslopogaas) are made-up characters. Umslopogaas also appears in Haggard’s novels She and Allan and Allan Quatermain.

The carnage in the novel makes A Game of Thrones look like a walk in the park. Almost every kind of violence that a human can inflict on a human is shown, including genocide, parricide, matricide, fratricide, filicide, regicide, and infanticide (but not suicide). This is a ruthless society, yet a fascinating society. Haggard is in peak form, with clear prose that keeps the story moving quickly. Not only is this a grand adventure, but it also demonstrates how the quest for power is corrupting.

Modern readers may cringe at a few racist caricatures, as well as the depiction of women as property, but Haggard was probably as progressive as he could be for the limitations of the time and place he was writing about. By and large, Haggard portrays the Zulus as real people—people with hopes and dreams, as well as flaws.

Title:Nada the LilyFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:May 6, 2017Publisher:Green Bird PressLanguage:English

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