In other news, I found this amusingly acrid review by Harold Collins of Peter Ellis' 1980 biography of Haggard in Research in African Literatures. Collins is charmingly obnoxious on how Ellis reinvents much of what Morton Norton Cohen had to say in his 1961 bio. Then Collins gives us this pronouncement on the eternally debated question of Haggard's literary immortality (involving Haggard's alleged choice of popularity over artistry, pace Cohen):
Some recent rereading of Haggard suggests that it would not be too severe to conceive of Haggard as a TV scriptwriter before his time--fertile in imagination, able to pop out piquant situations at will but unable or unwilling to get rid of inconsistencies, implausibilities, incongruities, vulgarities, and other such literary dross. Read, for instance, the scene in Nada the Lily, in which the drugged baby hidden in the witch doctor's medicine bag is almost discovered by its bloodthirsty father who wants it killed. It's vrai Haggard.Er, Rider Haggard as scriptwriter for Lost? Dexter? Weeds? Yeah, I can see it.