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First published in 1886–87, H. Rider Haggard’s imperial romance follows its English heroes from the quiet rooms of Cambridge to the uncharted interior of Africa in search of a legendary lost city with an ageless white queen. The two men find their way to the ancient city of Kôr, where the beautiful and mysterious Ayesha, “She-who-must-be-obeyed,” rules. Despite her cruelty, both men become fascinated by Ayesha, who leads them on a harrowing journey to bathe in the underground “River of Life.” A thrilling “history of adventure,” She also reveals the complexity of Victorian attitudes towards race, gender, exploration, and empire.
This Broadview edition presents the novel in its original illustrated Graphic magazine version, never before republished, and includes a critical introduction and supporting materials that demonstrate the novel’s relationship to late-Victorian issues such as imperialism, archaeology, race, evolution, and the rise of the “New Woman.”From the Inside Flap:
A runaway bestseller on its publication in 1887, H. Rider Haggard's "She is a Victorian thrill ride of a novel, featuring a lost African kingdom ruled by a mysterious, implacable queen; ferocious wildlife and yawning abysses; and an eerie love story that spans two thousand years. "She has bewitched readers from Freud and Jung to C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien; in her Introduction to this Modern Library Paperback Classic--which includes period illustrations by Maurice Greiffenhagen and Charles H. M. Kerr--Margaret Atwood asserts that the awe-inspiring Ayesha, "She-who-must-be-obeyed," is "a permanent feature of the human imagination."
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