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She (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – August 1, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A strange book . . . full of hidden meaning.” —Sigmund Freud --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199536422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199536429
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.6 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Mary on August 19, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story is about a young man, Leo, who supposedly can trace his ancestry to the Egyptian gods, and the older man who adopted him when Leo's own father died. Leo wants to find out his origins, so they leave England and travel to Africa, where they meet Ayesha, She, who supposedly is thousands of years old, and is of unequalled beauty. She thinks Leo is the incarnation of her ancient lover and so Ayesha holds both men under her spell, and tries to take them under the earth to a so called fountain of life, where she tries to persuade Leo to step into the fountain of life, and so become immortal. This story is good enough, but the Kindle formatting is terrible. In the early part of the book, there are several pages of nothing but questions marks, and then several pages where some of the words are again full of question marks. It is evident that no one edited this book, and that is really a shame. I would guess that Amazon is not going to take any extra pains to correct a book that is free, but that is really the shame. I feel that Amazon should not offer books, even if they are free, it they don't take the time to properly format them.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jimbo on October 25, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a shame this excellent story was butchered by whomever was supposed to edit it and the proof-reader if there was one should be tarred and feathered. No one can read the Kindle version of "She" and think it could be one of the best and most popular novels ever written. Allan Quatermain would shoot the person with his eight bore rifle who offered this great book to Kindle readers in it's current, slaughtered form.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Kristin n Ladybug on December 28, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
GREAT story, WORST formatting EVER. I could hardly get through the book with all the question marks. The story was great, one of Haggard's greats, but I just got so frustrated. Instead, download your free kindle book from here: […] The Gutenberg project formats everything precisely and cleanly and your read will be hassle free!
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
This fantasy adventure story takes place in England and later transports the reader to the bowels of Central Africa. The story starts when Horace Holly makes a deal with his dying friend. His friend, knowing the end is near, has a young son, Leo, who he leaves an iron trunk to. Horace is instructed not to open the chest until the boy's 25th birthday. In addition, Horace must take care of Leo and raise him.
On Leo's 25th birthday, Horace and Leo open the chest and in it they discover that Leo is part of a historic lineage which goes back to the ancient Egyptians. They also discover that everlasting life can be found off the coast of Africa by bathing in a magical fire. They soon venture to the hidden area to discover an ancient race of cannibalistic people who are lead by Ayesha, otherwise known as She. She is a very beautiful temptress and has the secret to everlasting life. Also, she was in love with Leo's family centuries ago. When Leo arrives, She is much smitten with him.
This book was well written and the adventure well thought out. The level of detail that Haggard uses to describe the Amahagger's (the tribe Leo and Holly discover) were extraordinary. She is easily understood to be a sophisticated woman who has strong powers of life and death over her subjects. However, I found the book a little hard to read. The lengthy paragraphs that detailed the Amahagger society were not needed and slowed the pace of the book. Still not a bad adventure book but the pace kept being diverted by lengthy descriptions.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sarakani on September 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
When the young psychologist Sigmund Freud picked up this book, it presented him with the idea of the Anima or eternal feminine, which as a concept was picked and enlarged by his peers, metaphysicians and astrologers (e.g. Liz Greene's work on relationship astrology). That such a catchy idea came from what was effectively an off the shelf best seller with no literary pretentions indicates just what a fun and fascinating read it presents, especially for a young man who wishes a read encapsulating the perfect specimen of womankind.
This particular edition is good for it contains an excellent introduction by Professor D. Karlin with extensive and helpful notes. Karlin makes it clear that the book is a sort of fantasy within a fantasy and the joke is usually on us. It's contents are so "out there" that the author is at pains to state "every word is true" through his chosen first person mouthpiece, and he adds several details that makes the book's events plausible while you are in it.
The book is a masterpiece of archetypes including the Anima, acient civilization and archaeology, exploration, hunting and Africa as she used to be. It further represents the last mysterious possibilities that could be squeezed out of a world whose potential to amaze was fast disappearing due to the advent of transport and exploration. It is an old fashioned Indiana Jones type epic with explorers making a big discovery that could shake the British Empire to its very core.
The elements come from Haggard's own association and love of Africa (he includes the extinct Quagga one of the descriptions)
and his contact with an angelic woman with whom his fascination was was not satiated as he was married already.
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She (Oxford World's Classics)
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