You are thinking of Galgool (?sp), who is about as supernatural as witch
doctors ever are - which is to say, not at all (at least according to
the Great White Hunter). Any more than Allan Quartermaine et al are,
even though they use a convenient eclipse to convince the natives
otherwise. As I recall, while there is a Galgool in the story and one
mentioned in the 400 year old parchment, they are not necessarily the
same - even Galgool herself does not claim this (though she knows of her
predecessor). And yes, Galgool supports the usurper and is against
Quartermain, and is a very important character.
This in contrast to other of Haggard's works, where the fantasy element
is unambiguous, such as "She", where She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed really is
2000 years old, beautiful beyond the lot of mortals, and can kill with a
look. "King Solomon's Mines" is an adventure story, with a little witch
doctor mumbo jumbo thrown in.
BTW, I haven't seen any of the movies of it. How do they treat the
romance between Good and Foulata (if I recall the names right)? Or is a
Black/White romance too hot to handle?
Barry Haworth. [log in to unmask]
I am a Statistician. One false move and you are a Statistic.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brian Taves [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Thursday, May 14, 1998 10:38 PM
> To: Multiple recipients of list SF-LIT
> Subject: Fantasy in King Solomon's Mines
> > Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 12:27:05 +1000
> > From: "Haworth, Barry" <[log in to unmask]>
> > Subject: Re: Robeson-Haggard
> > What do you mean, "eliminates all of the fantastic elements in the
> > novel"? As I recall, there were no fantastic elements.
> It has been MANY years since I read it, but my memory is that there is
> female native "witch doctor" who is about 200 years old and seems to
> possess some supernatural powers, with which she 1) helps maintain the
> tyrannical rule of the imposter over the tribe of which Umbopa is the
> rightful king and 2) tries to frustrate the goal of the Quartermain
> expedition (which leads to her accidental death). Gagool's presence
> to make the Haggard novel a borderline fantasy, although most films
> downplay her character into insignificance (ie, 1937 Robeson version
> 1985 Chamberlain version) or eliminate it entirely (1950 Granger
> and 1959 film entitled WATUSI), making the 1937 and 1950 film straight
> adventure, while the 1985 one introduced fantasy (dragons and men who
> upside down) not in the novel.
> Brian Taves
> Motion Picture/Broadcasting/Recorded Sound Division
> Library of Congress
> 101 Independence Avenue, S.E. Washington, D.C. 20540-4692
> Telephone: 202-707-9930; 202-707-2371 (fax)
> Email: [log in to unmask]
> Disclaimer--All opinions expressed are my own.