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DE KLERK REVIEWS HAGGARD BOOK (article first published : 2001-09-8)

Stephen Coan, assistant editor of the Natal Witness was given the typescript of a diary by writer H Rider Haggard by the writer's grandson, Commander Mark Cheyne.

Stephen Coan edited the diary and produced a biographical introduction. Under the title Diary of an African Journey, it was published in South Africa last year by the University of Natal Press. A record of Haggard's trip to South Africa in 1914, it throws new light on the writer of such famous adventure stories as King Solomon's Mines, She and Allan Quatermain.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is H Rider Haggard's interview with John Dube, founding member of the ANC and its first president, who he met while staying in Durban.

Diary of an African Journey was recently published by Hurst and Co. in Britain where it is now receiving an enthusiastic reception. Sadly, Commander Cheyne died in July just before the UK launch.

A news feature on the book was published in the London Sunday Times and among the reviews was a long, considered and appreciative one in the The Times from former president FW de Klerk.




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