The Frank Room
Jane Frank's husband Howard began collecting the books of H. Rider Haggard as a child and Howard's interest in fantasy as an art and literary form have long been influenced by Haggard's writing. Henry Rider Haggard was an English Victorian writer most famous for his heroic adventure stories set in exotic eras and locations, ranging from prehistoric times through ancient Epypt to the Vikings and colonial Africa. His "lost world" books King Solomon's Mines
and its sequel Allan Quartermain
, and She
and its sequel Ayesha
, among the first in that genre, were hugely popular and influential and remain so today. Over the course of his writing career he wrote over 60 of these novels, among them one written in collaboration with Andrew Lang (the "Fairy Books" series) who shared his interest in the spiritual realm and paranormal phenomena. Haggard's novel Nada the Lily
, inspired by his time spent in South Africa in government service early in his career, was unusual for a Victorian novel in that its entire cast of characters is South African and black. The story inspired his best friend, Rudyard Kipling, to write The Jungle Book
, which in turn influenced Edgar Rice Burroughs to write his "Tarzan" stories. Over time, Jane read all the Haggard books too, and suggested creating a room in their house that could showcase specifically commissioned art based on Haggard's work. Each painting displayed in the room would be created by a major artist, and decorated in Victorian era furnishings.
The art in the Haggard Room represents scenes from works including "She" (Michael Whelan), "King Solomon's Mines" (Don Maitz), and "The Ancient Allan" (Bob Eggleton). Other artists included in this collection are by Gary Ruddell, Donato Giancola, Ian Miller, Jeff Jones, Richard Bober, and Steve Hickman.
Chicon 7 is pleased to provide its own re-creation of the Haggard Room where the art commissioned and collected by the Franks can be exhibited and which can be used for discussions of art, classic fantasy literature, the Victorian period, and steampunk.
We hope that during the course of Chicon 7, you take the opportunity to visit this special art exhibit and programming room, located in the San Francisco Room on the Gold Level. It may even inspire you to search out some of Haggard's books in the Dealers Room
The Haggard Room