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She

Henry Rider Haggard

Book Overview: 

At 5 years old Leo Vincey is left in the care of a Cambridge professor by the name of Horace Holly. His father leaves him a strange casket which he is to open on his 25th Birthday. On opening the Casket Leo and Horace discover the strange history of Leo’s ancestors. Leo and his adoptive father Horace must travel all the way to Africa in order to uncover the solve his family’s strange history.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .A country like Africa," I said, "is sure to be full of the relics of long dead and forgotten civilisations. Nobody knows the age of the Egyptian civilisation, and very likely it had offshoots. Then there were the Babylonians and the Phœnicians, and the Persians, and all manner of people, all more or less civilised, to say nothing of the Jews whom everybody 'wants' nowadays. It is possible that they, or any one of them, may have had colonies or trading stations about here. Remember those buried Persian cities that the consul showed us at Kilwa."[*]

[*] Near Kilwa, on the East Coast of Africa, about 400 miles south of Zanzibar, is a cliff which has been recently washed by the waves. On the top of this cliff are Persian tombs known to be at least seven centuries old by the dates still legible upon them. Beneath these tombs is a layer of débris representing a city. Farther down the cliff is a second layer representing an older city, and farther down still a third . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Eh this novel is a bit too... Victorian for its own good. It's basically a couple of white English guys go to Africa and say the most racist things they possibly can. Apart from the blatant and offensive racism, the story is enjoyable. This isn't a novel that takes itself seriously. It's a light,...more

Well, shit snacks…this was a disappointing pile of shattered expectations. While journeying through the early works of speculative fiction, I’ve encountered some amazing novels...this, I'm very bitter to say, IS NOT one of them. This was my first experience with H. Rider Haggard and I think I wil...more

"She" is a great book--bottom line. Initially, I was going to say that I was surprised to see that this book did not get more five star ratings. But then I can understand some people's "frustration" with it. Granted, it is slow/verbose at some parts (primarily the beginning in my opinion). But we...more

“Often I sit alone at night, staring with the eyes of the mind into the blackness of unborn time, and wondering in what shape and form the great drama will be finally developed, and where the scene of its next act will be laid.”

I first heard about this book when it was discussed in Margaret Atwoo...more

"She- who -must -be -obeyed," sounds like a fun gal and for sure, gets her kicks in, kind of lethal though. Ayesha is a 2,000 year old woman and still looks marvelous for her age , lives in the middle of Africa during the 1800's , rules a remote tribe of hungry cannibals, people have strange tast...more

While I was still wondering, what to read next,suddenly like a great sword of flame, a beam from the setting sun pierced my book shelf, and smote upon the row, wherein was laid "She", illuminating Ayesha's lovely form, made on the front cover, with an unearthly splendor.

I picked it up, kicked off...more

There’s just so much going on in here; it’s like one massive explosion of Victorian anxieties.

Indeed, this novel speaks volumes about the time in which it was written; it’s a late Victorian novel, and is deeply rooted in the genre of the Imperial Gothic. So, that means it was written when the em...more

احب حقا تلك الروايات العابرة للعقود بل للقرون والالفيات....قدتكون قيمتها الادبية متواضعة وشخصياتها مسطحة واحداثها ملفقة ..و قد يتسرب بين السطور الحس الاستعماري المميز لللقرن 19 -..

ولكن يظل لها سحر من نوع خاص جدا..

- Well, having created my older-men-younger-women shelf...

- ... people thought you needed one called older-women-younger-men?

- Exactly. So of course I'm adding She.

- You mean Her?

- Look, which one of us is the grammarian?

The Good:
It felt like a genuine trip back in time. Even the Africa depicted here no longer exists, if it ever did (the author spent time in Africa as an employee of the British Empire). The story is interesting, with cool fantasy ideas infusing the contemporary (for its time) setting.

The Bad:
It’s...more

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