When it appeared in 1887, H. Rider Haggard's She caused a sensation and became one of the best-selling novels of the nineteenth century. The idea of a powerful woman endowed with immortal beauty and penetrating intellect ruling a savage people among the ruins of a vanished civilization in the heart of Africa captivated Victorian readers. Freud recommended the book to his patients. Jung equated its imaginative power with Dante's Inferno and Wagner's Ring. Continuing to fascinate later twentieth-century readers, the book has never been out of print and has won new audiences through numerous film versions.
This is the first annotated edition of She. Locating the novel within the context of late-Victorian fiction and British imperialism, Norman Etherington provides biographical information regarding Haggard and elucidates references in the text of this archaeological romance.