H. Rider Haggard She

ISBN 13: 9781843913962

She

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9781843913962: She
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One of the classics of imaginative literature, first serialized in The Graphic magazine in 1886–1887, and an influence on writers from Atwood to Tolkien

When Leo Vincey's father dies, he is left in the care of his father's confidant Professor Horace Holly with one parting gift—a strange casket that he is to open on his 25th birthday. The years pass and when the day arrives to open it, Leo and Horace discover the ancient and mysterious "Sherd of Amenartas" detailing the history of Leo's ancestors. Following the instructions on the Sherd they journey to Eastern Africa to uncover hidden family secrets. Traveling across hazardous terrain, they make their way to the kingdom of K'r, where She awaits them. Ayesha is She—the white Queen of the Amahagger. Eternally beautiful and fiercely cruel, she can cast her spell upon any man and ensnare them. But she is only after one. For 2,000 years she has been waiting for the return of the man she once loved, a man she herself killed in a fit of jealous rage, and she believes that Leo Vincey is that man.

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Review:

Ayesha is She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, a 2,000-year-old queen who rules a fabled lost city deep in a maze of African caverns. She has the occult wisdom of Isis, the eternal youth and beauty of Aphrodite, and the violent appetite of a lamia. Like A. Conan Doyle's Lost World, She is one of those magnificent Victorian yarns about an expedition to a far-off locale shadowed by magic, mystery, and death.

Tim Stout writes, in Horror: 100 Best Books, "As the plot takes hold one has the fancy that [Ayesha] had always existed, in some dark dimension of the imagination, and that [H. Rider] Haggard was the fortunate author to whom she chose to reveal herself." Haggard did, in fact, write this book in a six-week burst of feverish inspiration: "It came faster than my poor aching hand could set it down," he later said.

This edition of the 1887 classic features an introductory essay by literary critic Regina Barreca, who likens Ayesha to Flaubert's Madame Bovary or Tolstoy's Anna Karenina--"literally fantastic female figures who must be stopped before they love again."

From the Back Cover:

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."

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780199536429: She (Oxford World's Classics)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0199536422 ISBN 13:  9780199536429
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2008
Softcover

9780140437638: She (Penguin Classics)

Pengui..., 2001
Softcover

9781497303980: She

Create..., 2014
Softcover

9780141033785: She (Penguin Classics: Red)

Pengui..., 2008
Softcover

9780192835505: She (Oxford World's Classics)

Oxford..., 1998
Softcover

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