Read La donna eterna by H. Rider Haggard Wanda Puggioni Online


Nel cuore dell'Africa, lontano da ogni centro abitato e da ogni via di comunicazione, vive un popolo che obbedisce ad Ayesha, la Donna Eterna, la Regina che decide della vita e della morte di chiunque si trovi nei confini del suo regno. La donna ha un solo scopo cui tende con tutte le sue forze e che spera di vedere realizzato il più presto possibile: ricongiungersi con ilNel cuore dell'Africa, lontano da ogni centro abitato e da ogni via di comunicazione, vive un popolo che obbedisce ad Ayesha, la Donna Eterna, la Regina che decide della vita e della morte di chiunque si trovi nei confini del suo regno. La donna ha un solo scopo cui tende con tutte le sue forze e che spera di vedere realizzato il più presto possibile: ricongiungersi con il suo amato, Callicrate, dal quale è ormai separata da millenni. L'arrivo di due esploratori bianchi nel suo territorio alimenta le sue speranze: in uno di loro ella ravvisa infatti l'uomo di cui è profondamente innamorata e decide di immergerlo nel fuoco che dona l'immortalità... Questo libro è un classico irrinunciabile della Fantasy....

Title : La donna eterna
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788879833844
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 130 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

La donna eterna Reviews

  • Stephen
    2019-01-20 22:46

    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 will take some time before seeking out any of his other works. My problem was not the not-even-thinly-veiled misogynistic attitudes, or the matter-of-fact racist and anti-semitic opinion or even the pervasive imperialist ideologies permeating the narrative. Hell, that kind of stuff can be a real hoot in these classic stories and rarely distracts me from enjoying an otherwise well-told tale (as exemplified in my love of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard to name but two).However, you are not allowed to be BORING!!Apparently Mr. Haggard didn’t get the memo because he starts off dull, introduces some uninteresting tedium and follows through with a blank-shooting climax that barely had a pulse. In addition to be boring, the story lacks depth and the writing is far below the quality I’ve come to expect from books of the period.Okay…with that off my chest, I am starting to feel better. Before I unleash my next rant salvo, I should probably give you at least a thumbnail of the plot.PLOT SUMMARY:Ape-faced Englishman, Horace Holly and his stunningly handsome adonis of a ward, Leo Vincey, find themselves on a perilous trip to a hidden African colony rumored to be ruled by a 2000 year old white sorceress. After WAY too much time getting there and some run ins with some natives right out of central casting, they eventually meet Ayesha (aka She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed). There they learn that She has been waiting for the reincarnation of her true love who she slayed in a jealous rage 20 centuries before. Many long-winded dialogues and infodumps later the story wraps up. MY THOUGHTS (cont.):Most of my major criticism is above and centers on the story being dull and the writing being inferior to most of the other classic literature I have read in the speculative fiction genre. I would say the prose was on par with Edgar Rice Burroughs, who I do not think was a strong writer. However, at least ERB made up for some of his lack of technical skill with some amazingly inventive concepts, characters and stories. I didn’t find much of that here.Now, I am not slapping a 1 star on this because I recognize the debt owed to this book as a trailblazer in the “lost world” sub-genre. I also think the character of Ayesha was at times pretty interesting and I thought Haggard did an okay job showing her as acting consistent (for the most part) with someone who had lived for so long that normal social conventions ceased to have meaning for her. Also, I recognize the attempt at trying to portray this as a form of gothic love tale full of regret and longing across the space of millennia. This wasn’t nearly enough to save this book from being a huge disappointment, but the book wasn’t all bad. Before I wrap up, there is one very random passage from the book I want to share because it seemed so very, very creepy and odd and it kept coming back to me even though it has nothing really to do with the plot. Early on in the story, while Holly is at Oxford and Leo is a young boy, the narrator describes the following: In a very little while…the boy became the favourite of the whole College… in whose favour all rules were relaxed. The offerings made at his shrine were without number, and thereon I had a serious difference of opinion with one old resident Fellow… who was supposed to be the crustiest man in the University, and to abhor the sight of a child. And yet I discovered, when a frequently recurring fit of sickness had forced Job to keep a strict look-out, that the unprincipled old man was in the habit of enticing the boy to his rooms and there feeding him unlimited quantities of “brandy-balls” and of making him promise to say nothing about it.Woooooooooahh doggy. Let me get this straight. Old man luring small boy to his room and plying him with alcohol and sugar and making him promise not to tell the other grown ups. This had a very “to catch a predator” vibe to me and did a thorough test of my gag reflex. Sorry, but I needed to share that because it stuck in my head for the rest of the story. Overall, this was a completely forgettable story and a giant wad of Meh. 2.0 stars. Oh, and let me in closing that as well-trained, happily married man, the concept ofShe-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed is pretty old hat for me. Now a story about He-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed….that would be a truly imaginative tale full of fantastical elements, but it would take a seriously creative person to write it. Maybe I could…hold on, what’s that?...okay, coming dear…gotta go…SHE needs a foot rub.

  • Nayra.Hassan
    2019-01-31 23:50

    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..💬فهذه الرواية اعجبت ابيك وجدك وجدك الأكبر ايضا...فتقراها متحفزا.. بالطبع لن تعجبني في عصر ..الموبايل و التكنولوجيا..في عصر الأفلام الثري دي ...و المسلسلات ذات الخدع الخرافيةو لكن تضبط نفسك منجذبا للحبكة البارعة..وماخوذا بتفاصيل عصر ولى ومضى ..و عندها تفهم لماذا بيع منها 100مليون نسخةولماذا تمت ترجمتها لاربعين لغة.. وستفهم ايضا كيف ولماذا سيجلس حفيدك بجانبك بعد ستين عام ليقرا هاري بوتر بنفس حماسك القديم ..👓

  • Bookdragon Sean
    2019-02-03 18:54

    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 empire was in its golden age, the effects of the “golden glow” of mid Victorianism lingered on. The economy was booming, British Imperialism was at its apex, but the Empire’s security was a constant doubt as fear began to permeate the high levels of success. Fear of a fall, fear that the colonised would fight back, fear of the new woman’s effect on the patriarchy and a fear that the Empire would degenerate and devolve. And this can be seen with the uncanny Gothic elements associated with the colonised other.For me, this quote brings everything together: “The terrible She had evidently made up her mind to go to England, and it made me absolutely shudder to think what would be the result of her arrival there. What her powers were I knew, and I could not doubt but that she would exercise them to the full. It might be possible to control her for a while, but her proud, ambitious spirit would be certain to break loose and avenge itself for the long centuries of its solitude. She would, if necessary, and if the power of her beauty did not unaided prove equal to the occasion, blast her way to any end she set before her, and, as she could not die, and for aught I knew could not even be killed, what was there to stop her? In the end she would, I had little doubt, assume absolute rule over the British dominions, and probably over the whole earth.”Oh my, this is such a massively underrated novel. Stick with me; I’ve got a lot to say about this book’s brilliance. There will be spoilers a head. Firstly, the quote confirms Victorian fears of the colonised fighting back. Ayesha (She) is in the heart of Africa in the midst of colonial rule. As with Stoker’s Dracula, the foreigner is associated with fear inducing Gothic elements. Ayesha is a supernatural being; Ayesha is immortal and has spent most of her existence in a dark and oppressive temple that lingers with the echoes of the dead; she exists almost exclusively in this gloomy sepulchre of decay and ruin. Indeed, it’s like she has been buried alive, hidden and forgotten by the world in her dark and ancient tomb; she has become an object of the uncanny and is suggestive of Freud’s idea of “the false semblance of the dead.”The civilisation Ayesha is representing is one that is the exact opposite to Western life. Holly narrates it at as a land of barbarism, sacrifice and cannibalism: it is a land of the dark savage opposed to the supposed land of the rational west. Haggard creates an image of Africa that has undertones of the gothic, of the unusual, of the monstrous; that much so that it give Holly nightmares caused by “the sepulchral nature” of his surroundings. Ayesha, herself, embodies the threat of Africa as she is the ruler of such a people. This underpins the Victorian anxiety, which is often represented in fin-de-siècle fiction, of the colonised becoming the coloniser and the fall of Imperial rule to such a land. However, the possible empowerment of the colonised in She is directly associated with gender. Ayesha is a woman. But, she is also a potential conquer, a leader and a Queen. Women are frequently compared to the colonised. Victorian womanhood is arguably a form of colonisation in which the women are forced to accept the culture of the men. The character Ayesha transgresses this; she is suggestive of the “New Woman” in the quote because she refutes the standards of a male dominated world; she even has the potential to supplant an entire patriarchal society with her dreams of Empire. Perhaps Haggard was reluctant to accept this idea (bad, bad Haggard!) as we’ll later see with the novels ending.“Smaller she grew, and smaller yet, till she was no larger than a baboon.” Her age is brought upon her in one instant; she collapses, and Holly remarks “ here, too, lay the hideous little monkey frame, covered with crinkled yellow parchment, that once had been the glorious She. Alas! it was no hideous dream-it was an awful and unparalleled fact!It is no coincidence that at the end of the novel Ayesha undergoes a physical metamorphosis. The novel is post Darwin, The Descent of Man was published in 1871, so the transformation is suggestive of a reversal of evolution. When attempting to renew her immortality, and to urge Holly and Leo to follow in her wake, Aysha reverses the magic: she devolves. When Ayesha, a woman who represents anxieties over a declining Empire, the empowerment of the new woman, and reverse colonisation collapses and devolves, her immortality spent, it brings all these anxieties together, and serves as a symbolic punishment for her transgressions.Perhaps Haggard was a misogynist, despite depicting an empowered woman, Ayesha is brought down at the end of the novel to a very base state. Regardless of that (not that isn’t an important issue, though Haggard’s notion of womanhood is conflicting) the importance of this work resides in its depiction of Victorian fears, and in its ability to present them so superbly. This is an excellent book for study. I had so much fun reading it.

  • Praveen
    2019-02-06 22:46

    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 dust from its cover and read the introduction, the theme appealed to me and I decided it to be my next read. :)It turned out to be a dreadful but enchanting experience when I finished it. Being one of the early works of fantasy literature, this has a sub-genre of adventure romance.Initially it looked like an adventurous travelogue and too much expository but the story became immensely attractive when "She",a two thousand years old sorceress, entered in the story. I am sure her extraordinary portrayal by the author might have mesmerized its readers when it was first published. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and I can easily perceive why this novel is counted among the highest selling novels of the history.I appreciate astonishing imagination of Haggard and his capacity to make very impossible looking like adventures appear real. The seductive Ayesha replicates the long lasting fidelity to her husband and  she is embodiment of personal independence and her supreme authority over men.See what the narrator felt of "She", when he saw her for the first time emerging from behind the curtain....“The curtain agitated itself a little, then suddenly between its folds there appeared a most beautiful white hand (white as snow), and with long tapering fingers, ending in the pinkest nails. The hand grasped the curtain, and drew it aside, and as it did so I heard a voice, I think the softest and yet most silvery voice I ever heard. It reminded me of the murmur of a brook.”“say a figure, for not only the body, but also the face was wrapped up in soft white, gauzy material in such a way as at first sight to remind me most forcibly of a corpse in its grave-clothes. And yet I do not know why it should have given me that idea, seeing that the wrappings were so thin that one could distinctly see the gleam of the pink flesh beneath them."“of a tall and lovely woman, instinct with beauty in every part, and also with a certain snake-like grace which I had never seen anything to equal before. When she moved a hand or foot her entire frame seemed to undulate, and the neck did not bend, but curved." A wonderful read for them who have taste of adventure,supernatural portrayals and a propensity towards a mystic story line.

  • Manny
    2019-02-13 15:45

    - 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?

  • Tom Lazenby
    2019-02-16 20:42

    "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 must remember that this book was published in 1887, the age of no television, radio, Internet, etc. As such, certain description that may be deemed unnecessary in today's world (though there are still so many 300+ page novels today that are loaded with filler) was required back then to transport the reader to some faraway, uncharted territory. Life was slower paced and people read for entertainment. And I believe "She" has to be judged by those standards, as a book of its time, and yet, remarkably, it has succeeded in standing the test of time. That fact alone can attest to its greatness. In a way, I actually feel sorry for people who don't recognize this book as the extraordinary work of literature that it is. Not only is Haggard's grasp of vocabulary and coupling of words commendable in itself, but the philosophy that underlies and pervades the entire novel is reason enough to read it. And no, it is not misogynistic in the least. If anything, women are elevated to the level of deification. That being said, "She" is not an "easy" read. Unlike novels today,(where readers have to be "hooked" within the first 10-15 pages, lest they get bored and go surf the Internet) "She" requires one to be a little more patient. Like any courtship worth undertaking, you may have to wait before you reach the "pleasure zone." But when you get there, it's worth it!

  • Henry Avila
    2019-01-26 18:44

    She who must be obeyed, sounds like a fun gal.Ayesha is a 2,000 year old woman and still looks marvelous. Who lives in the middle of Africa and rules a tribe of cannibals!When Englishmen arrive in her land, instead of being eaten, are saved by the Queen.Leo is one of the explorers. And She, believes is a reincarnated former love.Ludwig Horace Holly ,his foster son Leo and their servant Job and an Arab sailor guide, are a little nervous you can imagine.Unwisely coming to this dangerous continent, at the urging of Leo's late father.Father doesn't know best.Discovering the ruins of an ancient city, destroyed not by war ,but a plague.That lost civilization once very powerful, has only old buildings left but how spectacular they are!When their Arab friend is killed, war breaks out. In the conclusion, the Englishmen, are brought deep down ,into dark caves , by Ayesha, to show an amazing event.Surprising to the Queen ,it's her great exit. Will She return?

  • Barry Pierce
    2019-02-07 19:52

    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, fun read, nothing more. Since this is one of the most influential and best-selling novels of all time (it's sold 100 million copies, the same as The Hobbit and double the amount of copies Deathly Hallows has sold) it is kinda disappointing that it is overall so-so. Oh well.

  • Ryan
    2019-01-24 18:30

    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 very old fashioned. Some of the passages in here would make your fascist grandfather cringe: “Job, like myself, is a bit of a misogynist” muses the narrator. Every character in the book is at least somewhat cartoonish.'Friends' character the protagonist is most like:Holly is pretty much a badass version of Ross.

  • Rachel Elizabeth
    2019-02-06 20:39

    First of all: the summary of this book is inaccurate. Ayesha does not have the "violent appetite of a lamia," which, if you are me, is a disappointing mislead because I was expecting something awesome. She doesn't thirst for blood so much as kill either when her orders are disobeyed (like when the tribe of people ordered to bring our main characters to her unharmed tries to cannibalize them, which would piss anyone off I think) or when the only man she passionately loves is possessed by another woman. She is a thoroughly Victorian female villain, in that it's her beauty, sex appeal, and passion that give her power, as much or more than her cunning does. Her beauty entraps men -- even our main character, who happily proclaims himself a misogynist because no woman back home will have him thanks to his ugliness. Clearly you don't read pulp fiction -- especially pre-1900s pulp fiction -- expecting enlightened gender politics, but I was annoyed that this "evil" woman just acts the way she does because she's so in love with some guy. Be moar evil, Ayesha? :(Alas, I am a sucker for adventure stories/potboilers/penny dreadfuls with your quintessential gentlemen in three piece suits nearly tumbling off cliff ledges and cartoonishly gracing "savages" with their White Nobility and admiring the beauty of the African landscape before whipping out a rifle and totally owning some majestic big game, and maybe encountering dinosaurs.* And that's what this book is. Love it or leave it.* = There are no dinosaurs in this book, but there are mummified human corpses set on fire and used as torches. Cool.

  • Traveller
    2019-01-25 19:46

    Thanks, Manny for reminding me that I'd read this as a child/teenager (I think about 3 times)? And absolutely adored it! (way back when, no idea how I'd find it now).Pygmalion, you can go eat dust in SHE's er... HER wake.She rules!..and I really want some of what She had...

  • Dan
    2019-02-12 21:47

    This was a very tedious read. The writing was so-so, it was verbose, and the story - although somewhat unusual - was not all that interesting. Lots of descriptions of dark caves. Lots of statements that he can't describe something followed by a page and a half of its description. Inconsistent philosophizing/moralizing with no resolution. Spent the last third of the book wondering if it would ever end.

  • Shovelmonkey1
    2019-02-04 19:37

    *Sigh* - that was a bit of a mission. I think I was more excited about this book before I read it! The story was good but the overly wordy verbose madness of some of the characters made my thinky thing a bit hurty. Haggard may have written it in a six week whirl wind but the dense text and convoluted poetic speeches make it feel less khamsin-like and more leaden than the worlds heaviest box of pencils.I have to admit to skim reading some of the speeches in order to preserve my sanity (and my thinky thing!). On the whole though, I would not mind discovering a lost city (it's better than writing about the osteology anf stratigraphy of 196 skeletons which is what i'm doing this week) but I don't like the idea of being "hot-potted" so maybe I'll just stay home instead!

  • Wreade1872
    2019-02-01 23:41

    Hated 'King Solomons Mines' when i read it years ago so thought i'd give Haggard a second chance with this. Pretty decent, one of the characters bears a strong resemblance to Beast from the X-Men :lol.Ayesha is pretty interesting and there are some nice weird touches. Only problems, ending not that great and no relatable characters, both main heroes are almost super-human.

  • M.J. Johnson
    2019-02-17 23:54

    ‘She’ is reckoned to be one of the most widely read books ever written, and fifty years ago was estimated to have sold over eighty million copies. It has been translated into numerous languages and made into several film versions. I recall getting a little hot under the collar myself when as a lad I saw Ursula Andress in the titular role. Like King Solomon’s Mines it is difficult for the modern reader to encounter views that are now considered to be quite unequivocally racist. The European world powers at the end of the nineteenth century were obsessed by the fearful idea of racial degeneration; Rider Haggard may have been influenced by this concept after witnessing the ruins of ‘Great Zimbabwe’ which were explored and excavated in the 1870s; they may have been, at least in part, responsible for the ancient lost city in 'She' and his imagined native Armahagger people who live amongst the ruins and have, it must be said, very little to recommend themselves (incidentally, the white ruled Rhodesian Government for many years put political pressure on archaeologists to deny that such a city as ‘Great Zimbabwe’ could have been built by any black races). The book also touched on the rapidly changing role of women in the industrialised world. It was a hugely influential book in its day; its female protagonist Ayesha - the She of the title - has been cited as a female prototype in the works of Freud and Jung; the White Queen, Jadis, in C.S Lewis’s Narnia books owes a debt to her; as too does the character of Shelob in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Like King Solomon’s Mines it is without any shadow of doubt a very good example of the lost world literary genre, however its often racist and Imperialist ideals are sometimes quite unpalateable - and any modern reader has to bear this fact in mind before proceeding.

  • Jack
    2019-01-28 17:33

    Truly bizarre Gothic adventure novel about eternal youth, savage Africans, and all those other cultural imperialisms so favored in the Victorian era! Cheerio! Watch out for the hotpots!

  • Ana Rînceanu
    2019-02-01 17:45

    If Ayesha were telling this story, the book wouldn't be half this boring. The writing was okay, but the themes of race, female authority and sexuality were so Victorian. The ending also felt forced. (view spoiler)[ What self-respecting, two millennium old witch doesn't know how the sourse of her immortality, the Pillar of Fire, works?! (hide spoiler)]

  • بسام عبد العزيز
    2019-01-23 17:29

    واحدة من الروايات الكلاسيكية التي تمجد في الرجل الأوروبي الأبيض العظيم و تحقر الرجل الأفريقي الأسود الهمجي... و يبدو أنها كانت موجة سائدة بين الكتاب الإنجليز في عصر الدولة التي لا تغيب عنها الشمس.. طبعا العنصرية التامة تسود أحداث القصة برمتها.. الأفارقة الهمج الذين قتلوا الأوروبي المسالم.. الأفارقة الهمج الذين يأكلون لحوم البشر...الأفارقة الهمج الذين يرون زميلهم يصارع الموت ولا ينقذوه بل ينقذه الرجل الأبيض الشجاع..دائما و طوال أحداث الرواية لابد أن يكون الرجل الأبيض هو الأفضل.. الشجاع الجسور المتعلم الذي يجيد عدة لغات المتحضر المتمدن.. أما عن العبثية و اللامنطقية المتناهية فحدث ولا حرج.. الكاتب يقول ان البطل من أسرة عريقة استمرت إلى 65 جيلا متعاقبا... حسنا.. لمعلومات الكاتب فإن كل شخص على وجه الأرض له نفس العدد من الأجيال.. فالبشر لم يأتوا على دفعات من الفضاء مثلا! و لم يخلقوا في معامل!كذلك.. لماذا لم يحاول اي شخص طوال 65 جيلا أن ينتقم من الأميرة؟! لماذا انتظروا كل تلك الفترة؟!! و ما هذه المصادفة التي تجعل البطل الذي يقرر الذهاب في رحلة الانتقام هذه يعيش في نفس فترة الكاتب ليحكي له؟!!و ما سبب هذا الانتقام أصلا؟!!! أن جندي أبيض قتل؟!! أليست الامبراطورية الانجليزية قد قتلت آلاف السود.. فجأة يصبح دم انجليزي واحد أكثر أهمية من آلاف السود؟!!!و حتى الملكة التي تحكم الأفارقة المتوحشين هى نفسها ملكة بيضاء.. من أين أتت ؟ لم يذكر هذا.. لكن المهم أنها بيضاء.. و لأنها بيضاء فلابد ان تكون لها القوة و السيطرة على الأفارقة المتوحشين الهمج!أما عن جهل الكاتب التام بالتاريخ و الجغرافيا فحدث ولا حرج!!!! القبائل الأفريقية التي انتقلت إلى الشمال لتقوم بتكوين الشعب المصري الفرعوني؟!!! اللغة العربية التي تتحدث بها القبائل في وسط افريقيا؟!!! ما هذا الجهل اللامتناهي؟!! أم هو تضليل و لي للحقائق؟!!لم تعجبني افكار الرواية..

  • Dannii Elle
    2019-02-03 19:42

    This might possibly be my lowest rated book on all of Goodreads. I read this book for my university course and hated everything about it. The whole thing just felt...pointless! I waded through it but this would probably have become my first ever DNFed book (I feel a strange obligation to the author to finish all books) if it was not part of my required reading. Ordinarily, if I dislike a book, for whatever reason, I hold off on slating the book completely in favour of rereading it a few years later with a (perhaps) more mature approach and less critical eye. This book, however, will remain in my hate-forever pile. Sorry, not sorry.

  • Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
    2019-02-05 20:49

    This is the first novel I have read as a young girl, I've read it over and over again a lot of times, I bought a new edition because mine was worn out, I love it!! I always wonder why didn't they make it into a movie (A new adaption I mean)?!? It's the best fantasy novel ever!!!

  • Rebecca
    2019-01-29 22:41

    The Ursula Andress film maimed my childhood. I was indoctrinated with a craving for beauty. The book is infinately eerier. Your lover's corpse is a creepy keepsake.Ayesha is basically Miss Havisham but with looks, immortality, sorcery, brilliance, an underground desert kingdom, enslaved minions... *aspires**especially to the enslaved minions*

  • Alex
    2019-01-25 17:57

    I was first introduced to H. Rider Haggard in my class on British Imperialism in college where we studied history though novels of the time. We studied his "King Solomon's Mines" with the intent of viewing the British Empire as 19th century contemporaries might have - and what better place to do this than through propagandist adventure novels targeted at young boys?! I'd like to say that "She" - one of Haggard's more grown up novels - is a step up, but I can't say that with thorough conviction. True, "She" is definitely more gruesome and complex in how it questions the human condition and society at large, but overall the story, the themes, and, most importantly, the perspective is very much the same.Haggard, I only learned through the third party introduction to this book, was a politically active Tory (conservative) who was stationed as an administrator in South Africa for a time and wished to remain there for the rest of his days. The Boer Wars prevented this ambition from happening, but we can see all of these predispositions in his writing nonetheless. During this time period - "She" was written in 1887 - we can assume that Haggard would be anticipating the fall of the Empire he loved so dearly as its influence is already wavering. He sees the women's emancipation movement taking form, he sees huge changes in industry and how society is relating to these changes, etc. and each of these observations concerns him. As a proud British conservative, he believes in the glory of the Empire and believes in upholding the age old traditions defining what it means to be British. Therefore, keeping all of this in mind, we can interpret "She" to be a bit of a warning to contemporaries of the consequences these changes could have for Britain and her empire while also exploring the complexities of the human condition which make upholding traditions of the past so important.First off, I'll provide a brief synopsis: Our heroes are two men, one age 25 and beautiful the other in his 40's and hideous (these adjectives are very important, I promise). The elder has been the guardian of the younger for 20 years after the boy's father died in strange circumstances. Upon the boy turning 25, our elder hero delivers a secret package to the younger, as instructed, which contains a letter and certain artifacts pertaining to a quest that has been the object of the family since antiquity and up until that point every generation had failed. This quest, in short, is to travel to an obscure point in Africa and kill a white woman who appears to be a sorceress. Like all good quests, "King Solomon's Mines" included, our heroes undergo various trials and tribulations before achieving their goal and righting all the wrong in the world. Predictably, the first theme we draw from the book is that of white vs black and the racial justifications for Britain's empire. Haggard and his heroes demonstrate through wit, manner, intelligence, and custom that white = civilized and that civilized = proper and that proper = sacred - therefore, Britain's empire is a necessary crusade to bring civilization to the black man who is, by nature, a savage beast needing to be tamed. In "She", this is made blatantly clear from the start as our heroes find themselves in an African community of cannibals ruled by women (we will get to the fabulous theme of women shortly). This tribe wears loin clothes, speaks a bastard dialect of Arabic, and acts on any sexual desire they so choose without regard to morals ("morals", of course, as interpreted and held by our white, civilized heroes). The only hope that these savages of being saved at all is that they worship and are ruled by a white queen, She. She is a nickname for She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed which is an interesting title for the White Queen because it fully describes her relationship to her people as it is impersonal and disconnected and also feared. This relationship corresponds to how the British related to those whom they colonized as well - the fear of She stems from the fact that she appears to be an immortal sorceress with power over the natural order, whereas in the case of the British the fear stemmed from advanced technology and a strangeness of character and custom that was exceptionally difficult to relate to. She is especially impersonal because she wears a pure white veil from head to foot giving her the visage of a mummy, promulgating the fear of the unknown in her people.It turns out, however, that She does in fact have a name, Ayesha, and is in fact mortal, simply 2,000 years old. She also does have power over some elements of Nature through wisdom she acquired by arguably unnatural ways. As our heroes develop a deep and personal connection with the white woman of antiquity, we are left with the understanding that Ayesha is intended to represent the ideal woman in character as well as figure. Our educated men are able to speak with Ayesha about the classics, as it's her own history, in each of the ancient languages she is fluent in with an air of aristocratic discourse that so starkly differs from the people over whom she rules. She is a modest ruler who doesn't even want to be the queen of such a retched people and is uncontrollably worshiped by the masses - she simply uses the people as tools to do her bidding, being consistently tyrannical and merciless nature as she kills anyone who disobeys her. Despite this, her humble and modest character is held intact through the eyes of our heroes because a woman of such stature truly has no other way to protect herself against such savages, violence being the only thing they are able to understand. Under her veil this white woman also has the shape and manner of everything the ideal woman should have. In fact, the veil itself is to protect men and women alike from falling victim to the power of her immense Beauty which is so phenomenal as to be considered a danger to all who look upon it. And it's true - both of our heroes fall immediately in love with Ayesha once they see her face, grovelling at her feet and uttering nonsense despite their vast intellects and civilized natures. With such power over Nature and Men alike, why would She remain in such a position, you might ask? Well, the answer is simple - she has spent the last 2,000 years waiting for her dead lover to enter this world again and to come find her where they last met all those years ago. This devotion and loyalty to a single man only makes her more attractive to our heroes while placing the final touches on the mold of our ideal woman to the typical 19th century reader. More importantly, this theme of reincarnation is something Haggard explored thoroughly in this book but never quite developed. It's clear that his understanding of reincarnation was limited, but it is interesting to see it placed as the backdrop for our quest because our heroes seem to accept it despite their civilized, presumably Anglican beliefs. Their relationship to Providence is as one would imagine a generic non-devout but believing Christian's would be, but our heroes have no sense of doubt when the subject of being reborn is addressed. Discussion of the Creator and Nature seem to go hand in hand, implying that an active God and the concept of reincarnation are compatible to either Haggard or at least to his characters. The religious components which are more fully developed are those of Truth, Beauty, and Time. Ayesha is, of course, the symbol of the former two in that Truth is veiled from Man and Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty. Beauty is a component of righteousness in that our younger hero, the more gorgeous and god-like of the two, turns out to be the very reincarnation of Ayesha's lost lover that she has been waiting these 2,000 years for. Therefore, whether through the agency of Providence or of Fate, he is destined to be Ayesha's partner as only the most beautiful could be the proper match for her. Our elder hero is not necessarily evil despite his hideousness but, rather, he is simply not the one who is meant to be paired with someone of Ayesha's stature. Time, of course, is addressed through reincarnation but also by taking the reader through the history of the world's great civilizations through conversations with Ayesha. As we discuss what happened to these lost civilizations, Ayesha is also learning what has happened since them in a line of events presented in an auspicious light. Furthermore, Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the imagined people of Kor - this book's own lost civilization - are all placed next to the British, implying to the contemporary reader that their own Empire has met if not exceeded the greatness of these peoples of antiquity. As such, it is critical to preserve its greatness which Haggard fears is slipping.Overall, it was a very good and enjoyable read though I was disappointed in the outcome of the plot. I am also disappointed to learn that, presumably while in a financial pinch, Haggard wrote a sequel to this book which based on the plot could only be possible through the further misuse of the concept of reincarnation. Haggard believed that "She" would be the book that he became the most well known for, and while it was a best seller during his lifetime and surely appreciated as a piece of literature I simply don't see how it can stand the tests of the ages beyond what it already has.

  • Marvin
    2019-01-30 18:38

    H. Rider Haggard is one of those "classic" adventure writers I missed as a child while I was devouring Verne, H. G. Wells, and Edgar R. Burroughs. Then there were the Lost Worlds tales of that guy who dabbled in fantasy-adventure when he wasn't writing about a detective-doctor duo. Now that I have read my first Haggard novel, She, I am glad I put him off for so long because he is REALLY BORING!Tedious descriptions, stiff dialogue and simply mediocre writing is the order of the day in the land of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. And it takes forever to reach that land. This would be bad enough but there is also the problem of antisemitism and racism throughout the book that is excessive even for its time. I suspect the tale's continuing allure may have more to do with its many film versions than this 19th century hack job. Personally I have many fond memories of the 1965 Hammer film and Ursula Andress will always be She in my dreams.

  • William
    2019-02-14 23:48

    It had been many years since I read this - sometime back in the early '70s at a guess, and my memories of it have also been colored by the Hammer movie that I've watched several times in the interim. The movie is still watchable, but I fear the book hasn't aged well at all. Where it still stands up is in the imaginative sequences - the lost cities, the immense caverns, the pillar of fire and she-who-must-be-obeyed herself, all of which show Haggard to be capable of stirring the blood, which he also does admirably during the early shipwreck scene. But it falls down badly on some dreadfully casual racism, the inherently worthy but dull protagonists and some shocking plodding exposition, especially early on. Allan Quartermain lifted several of Haggard's other works above all of this, but in the case of She the old warrior is sorely missed.

  • Mohamed Nida نيده
    2019-01-23 23:46

    يبدأ هاجارد بمقدمة تشويقية يخبر فيها بأن القصة أرسلها إليه أحد أبطالها وأنها أحداث حقيقية! رواية ممتعة جدًا كأساطير وقصص الرحلات خاصة أن أحداثها في أفريقيا الغامضة التي تزيد الأحداث إثارة وغموض.ناهيك عن إني قد تهت لكثرة الممرات وضلّت بوصلتي الطريق وساعد على هذا أيضاً تخبّط المترجم في بعض الوصف، لكن لم أهتم كثيرًا لهذا فالمغامرة مليئة بالأحداث الشيّقة.نوفمبر 2011

  • Fishface
    2019-02-17 17:57

    Deservedly a classic, for either children or adults, but I'm puzzled as to why anyone would choose Ursula Andress to play her in the movie.

  • Russell
    2019-02-09 19:28

    This is my third Haggard novel I've read, and it's a top notch, ripping yarn. Although similar to other Haggard's creations, (such as lost civilizations, strange beings with strange powers, at least one friendly native among hostile tribes, hidden untold treasures) it is an enthralling tale, layered and well seasoned with Haggard's ability to weave in different world views and philosophies into the tale. His book is engaging, without being preachy, unapologetically Imperial British, and Haggard's mastery of language was expressed through lyrical moments in unlooked for places. Haggard also had a keen understanding of psychology and interpersonal relations. His observations of human behavior and desires are timeless.Take this passage, for example: "For man can be bought with woman's beauty, if it be but beautiful enough; and woman's beauty can be ever bought with gold, if only there be gold enough. So was it in my day, and so it will be to the end of time. The world is a great mart, my Holly, where all things are for sale to whom who bids the highest in the currency of our desires."Bingo. He sprinkled such insights along the way, pitted a materialistic philosophy against one that insisted there was more than mere material, and let it all stew together. And this happened between long descriptive passages, edge-of-my-seat moments, shocking reveals, dark hints of profane power, mingled with adventure and exploration. And every now and then he wrote some zingers, like this one: "True, in uniting himself to this dread woman, he would place his life under the influence of a mysterious creature of evil tendencies, but then that would be likely enough to happen to him in any ordinary marriage."Bwahaha! Haggard did a decent job discussing what is evil and what is good, especially to one like She. It's mostly rhetorical, and She had honed her solipsism to a razor's edge, but Holly and She had a grand time discussing their viewpoints. "She-who-must-be-obeyed" influenced other writers, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, for example. I had read that Lady Galadriel's inspiration was attributed to the dread She, but I was unable to confirm that.Easily 4 stars. Just as good as "King Solomon's Mines", if not a bit better. Not recommend for those that see a parade of -ists from writers of that era. It's going to stick in your craw. Don't say you weren't warned.

  • Liv
    2019-02-19 22:40

    Considering it was written in 1886-1887, this was a fun, adventuous read. It also really brings light to issues of the Victorian era such as gender and race.My favourite: the fact that it was written in installments. This meant that every chapter is left off on a cliffhanger, keeping you wanting to read more.

  • Sarita
    2019-02-07 22:46

    أحقا تصنف هذه القصه كنوع من قصص المغامرات !!! فصراحة لم أجد فيها أى مغامراتالكاتب سطحى للغاية يكتب عن أشياء لا يعرف عنها شئ بالإضافة إلى النظرة الفوقية للناطقين باللغة العربية والأفارقةأعتقد لو أن الكاتب قرأ مغامرات سندباد كان ممكن يكتب قصة أفضل من كده

  • Eric
    2019-02-17 16:53

    What a weird book... Haggard's trip into a metaphorical vagina complete with a fem-fatale character lurking inside. That's my take on it anyway.