The Impact of Life on a Work
Writers are a funny bunch of people. They’re world creators, taking bits and pieces from many places, and combining them in completely new ways. But the biggest things authors utilize are their own experiences. Every writer uses the things they’ve had to go through in life to add a feeling of realism to the stories they craft. In writing “She,” H. Rider Haggard used points of his life to add to a small detail of the story, and also a larger part of the book that helps drive the story.
At the beginning of the book, Holly is looking for a nurse to assist in taking care of Leo, the child he has been given guardianship over, and decides to hire a man. In his quick search, he finds a man named Job (Haggard 21). One of the qualifications that Job lists off exactly as to why he’s the best choice for this employment that may last years is that he states he “was one of a family of seventeen and well-accustomed to the ways of children” (Haggard 21). H. Rider Haggard himself was born into a large family. He was born the eighth in a total of ten children (Carter). While I can’t elaborate on the actual home life of H. Rider Haggard growing up, but there is a safe assumption to be made. He would have had experience in handling his few younger siblings, and would have had experience being taken care of by his older siblings. It would have had to translate into the kind of confidence Job expressed in taking on the responsibility of taking care of a child.
On the bigger scope of things comes the setting for the majority of the book. The quest set forth by Holly and Leo leads them to Africa. Now not only is Africa the setting for this book, but also for many of his books (Carter). After finishing up with his schooling, H. Rider Haggard ventured off to Africa, which was considered one of the last frontiers at the time. At about the age of twenty-one, he set himself up as a government official in South Africa (Carter). So his time in Africa would have contributed to his desire to write about the more fantastical elements he could think of and set them in this place.
Writers are a funny bunch that create through the accumulated knowledge of every experience they had in life. Some let it contribute to the little things, but others let it contribute to almost a lifetime of work.
*Carter, Lin. “Lost Races, Forgotten Cities.” Violet Books. N.p., 1998. Web. 6 Dec. 2013. <http://www.violetbooks.com/lin-carter.html>.
*Haggard, H. Rider. She. New York: Random House, 2002. Print