When the World Shook

Being an Account of the Great Adventure of Bastin, Bickley, and Arbuthnot

H. Rider Haggard

This work is pretty much contemporary in publication with The Moon Pool, and has some similarities, involving South Seas islands and lost races. It is, however, quite different in both tone and theme. The dedication to Lord Curzon is noteworthy (see below).

Recordings

Chapter List

The book is available on Project Gutenberg.

  1. Arbuthnot Describes Himself
  2. Bastin and Bickley
  3. Natalie
  4. Death and Departure
  5. The Cyclone
  6. Land
  7. The Orofenans
  8. Bastin Attempts the Martyr’s Crown
  9. The Island in the Lake
  10. The Dwellers in the Tomb
  11. Resurrection
  12. Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Years!
  13. Oro Speaks and Bastin Argues
  14. The Under-world
  15. Oro in his House
  16. Visions of the Past
  17. Yva Explains
  18. The Accident
  19. The Proposals of Bastin and Bickley
  20. Oro and Arbuthnot Travel by Night
  21. Love’s Eternal Altar
  22. The Command
  23. In the Temple of Fate
  24. The Chariot of the Pit
  25. Sacrifice
  26. Tommy
  27. Bastin Discovers a Resemblance
  28. Note by JR Bickley, MRCS

In the journal of the Royal Colonial Institute, from March, 1916, appears an account of a banquet held to honor the author of this novel, on the occasion of his departure on a study tour of the Dominions. The idea was to determine the possibilities for resettling returning soldiers, whenever the War should end. Lord Curzon, presiding, proposed the toast to which Sir Henry responded with the speech from which the following excerpt was drawn.

It would perhaps amuse you, if I were to tell you how I first came into contact with Lord Curzon. Thirty years or so ago I wrote a story. A prominent man, who ran a certain paper, for some reason or other chose to suggest that the story was entirely stolen from another work written one hundred years previously ― a work, I may say, that I had never read and which work, when I tried afterwards, I entirely failed to be able to read.
This attack was elaborately made with the object of injuring me, if not destroying me. It was done with extraordinary skill. The old parallel columns were employed under circumstances which would enable you to prove, for instance, that the book of Job was plagiarized from (what shall I say) the Daily Mirror or anything of that sort.
Well, the thing was run day after day till it happened to attract the attention of our Chairman, whom at the time I did not know, and he, like a good fellow, took the matter up. He read the attack and he read the old book, and he wrote a letter which absolutely, finally, and utterly destroyed, squashed, and obliterated the whole case that had been set up against me. Need I say that the editor in question refused to publish it; so he sent me that letter which, happening some time ago to look through my papers, I came across and re–read. Now perhaps you will understand, as, whatever else I may forget, I never forget a disinterested kindness such as Lord Curzon displayed to me, why I shall always regard him with esteem and, if I may say so, with affection.

United Empire, Vol VII no 3