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She (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – August 1, 2008
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written from a first person perspective, this is a very entertaining fantasy adventure. I can see where this story has served as a starting point for many of today's fantasy... Read morePublished 7 days ago by txvolfan
A fantastic story, filled with mystery and adventure. Men, beware the power of the woman. Women, be careful what you reach to obtain.Published 26 days ago by Guy Bernard
She must be obeyed and it's off to a great start. Action jungle, tears ,love ,intelligence and stiffneckedness. She kills,lives and loves foreverPublished 29 days ago by A. Glatt
My husband recommended this book to hopefully change my opinion of Haggard. Opinion changed! I blame it on retirement. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
An intriguing novel, though a bit drawn out and predictable. Not as good as King Solomon's Mine but worth the read as a classic adventure novel.Published 1 month ago by Jim McDaniel
Read it in high school 100 years ago and enjoyed it even more this time for so many reasons.Published 1 month ago by claudia
H. Rider Haggard is probably best-known for his "King Solomon's Mines" and his great hero, Allan Quatermain. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sherry bh
Very entertaining. Some passages are difficult to understand because of old English .Published 3 months ago by Dattatraya Bhave
This is a great ingenious story. It suffers a bit from the somewhat archaic language and verbosity. The level of action is diminished compared to modern standards. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mark Giesemann