Sir Henry Rider Haggard was an English writer of adventure novels set mostly in Africa, and a founder of the Lost World literary genre. The Last Boer War is an 1899 non-fiction book by Haggard about the Boer War of 1881. Jess is a story of Jess Croft who lives with sister Bessie and old Silas, a farmer raising ostriches on the great Transvaal veldt. He is a reserved and aloof, with a quietness about her brought on by the misfortunes of her young childhood, when she and Bessie arrived motherless from England to South Africa. Then an Englishman, Captain John Niel, arrives to try his hand at the farming life. To his eyes, Bessie is lively and lovely of face and figure — yet Jess is mystery, with a bright and roving mind and splendid, searching eyes. Unwillingly the three of them are drawn together, then torn apart, by the emotions.