H. Rider Haggard
Publisher: Phoemixx Classics Ebooks
She - H. Rider Haggard - She, subtitled A History of Adventure, is a novel by the English writer H. Rider Haggard, published in book form in 1887 following serialisation in The Graphic magazine between October 1886 and January 1887. She was extraordinarily popular upon its release and has never been out of print. The story is a first-person narrative which follows the journey of Horace Holly and his ward Leo Vincey to a lost kingdom in the African interior. They encounter a primitive race of natives and a mysterious white queen named Ayesha who reigns as the all-powerful "She" or "She-who-must-be-obeyed". Haggard developed many of the conventions of the lost world genre which countless authors have emulated. Haggard was "part of the literary reaction against domestic realism that has been called a romance revival." Other writers following this trend were Robert Louis Stevenson, George MacDonald, and William Morris. Haggard was inspired by his experiences living in South Africa for seven years (187582) working at the highest levels of the British colonial administration. Like many of his works, She is a vivid example of what is now labeled as "imperialist literature". As such, the story embraces concepts of race and evolution, especially notions of degeneration, racial decline and racial purity, prominent in the late Victorian period and at the turn of the centuryideas whose influence would shape the 20th century. In nineteenth-century Europe and America, works by Haggard and otherssuch as G.A. Hentywere devoured by a voracious audience that included children. In the figure of She, the novel notably explored themes of female authority and feminine behaviour. Its representation of womanhood has received both praise and criticism.