Melanti's Reviews > She

She by H. Rider Haggard
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Apr 05, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: e-book, classics, 2012, adventure, 1001-books
Read from April 03 to 05, 2012

Haggard popularized (some argue originated) the “lost world” sub genre. King Solomon’s Mines was actually his first “lost world” book but it didn’t contain a lot of the typical “lost world” elements we think of today. She does contain most of those elements, and features a 2,000 year old queen named “She-who-must-be-obeyed” (thus the origin of the term) who rules over a “savage” tribe in Africa.

Like a lot of the Victorian works of his time, She is racist, anti-Semitic, imperialist, and misogynistic. It’s even misogynistic by the standards of the Victorian age which takes some doing, and the sheer absurdity of the comments is hilarious at times. Among other things, it proposes killing off the older women every second generation or so to remind younger women to not get uppity and repeatedly calls all women evil beings who only care for wealth and power, while men are innocent of such things and are merely ruled by passion.

It was a real hoot to read.
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