She: A History of Adventure

SHE,_A_History_of_Adventure_(1st_Edition_Cover),_by_H._Rider_HaggardShe: A History of Adventure is a novel by English writer H. Rider Haggard, first serialised in The Graphic magazine from October 1886 to January 1887. She was extraordinarily popular upon its release and has never been out of print.

The story is a first-person narrative that follows the journey of Horace Holly and his ward Leo Vincey to a lost kingdom in the African interior. There 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”. In this work, Rider Haggard developed the conventions of the Lost World subgenre, which many later authors emulated.

She is placed firmly in the imperialist literature of nineteenth-century England, and inspired by Rider Haggard’s experiences of South Africa and British colonialism. The story expresses numerous racial and evolutionary conceptions of the late Victorians, especially notions of degeneration and racial decline prominent during the fin de siècle. In the figure of She, the novel notably explored themes of female authority and feminine behaviour. It has received praise and criticism alike for its representation of womanhood.

She has been adapted for the cinema at least eleven times, beginning with the 1899 short film The Pillar of Fire, directed by Georges Méliès.

She (1911) She (1916) She (1917) She (1925) She (1935) She (1965)
The Vengeance of She (1968) She (1982)

She (1911)

Released December 26, 1911 in the US. This silent short starred American silent film and stage actress, Marguerite Snow, in the title role.

She (1916)

Released February, 1916 in the UK. This British-made silent version starred Alice Delysia as Ayesia.

An explorer is the reincarnated lover of a 2000-year-old queen.

She (1917)

Released April 23, 1917 in the US. Valeska Suratt starred as Ayesha/She.

She (1925)

SHE_(1925),_Movie_PosterShe is a British-German fantasy adventure film starring Betty Blythe, Carlyle Blackwell and Mary Odette. It was filmed in Berlin as a co-production, and based on H. Rider Haggard’s novel of the same name. According to the opening credits, the intertitles were specially written for the film by Haggard himself; he died in 1925, the year the film was made.

The 1925 version was the first feature-length adaptation, although it was trimmed from its original 98-minute running time down to 69 minutes for US release. It is the most faithful of the three feature-length adaptations to date and follows the action, characters and locations of the original novel closely.

She (1935)

From H. Rider Haggard’s weird, wondrous story of the beautiful woman who bathed in flame and lived 500 years .. at last to find her first love at this very hour!

She_(1935)She is an American film based on H. Rider Haggard’s novel of the same name. The screenplay combines elements from all the books in the series: She: A History of Adventure, She and Allan, Ayesha: The Return of She and Wisdom’s Daughter. The film reached a new generation of moviegoers with a 1949 re-release.

The ancient civilisation of Kor is depicted in an Art Deco style with imaginative special effects. The setting is Arctic Siberia, rather than in Africa, as in the first book. The third book is set in the Himalayas. With music by Max Steiner, the film stars Helen Gahagan, Randolph Scott and Nigel Bruce.

It was hoped that She would follow Cooper’s previous success, King Kong. Cooper had originally intended to shoot the film in colour, but budget cuts by RKO forced him to shoot the film in black and white at the last minute. However, the black and white film had disappointing results at the box office.

She (1965)

SHE who must be obeyed! …SHE who must be loved! …SHE who must be possessed!

She_1965She is a British Metrocolor film made by Hammer Film Productions in CinemaScope, based on the novel by H. Rider Haggard. The film was an international success and led to a 1968 sequel, The Vengeance of She, with Olinka Berova in the title role.

Notable Cast

  • Ursula Andress as Ayesha
  • Peter Cushing as Holly
  • Bernard Cribbins as Job
  • John Richardson as Leo Vincey
  • Christopher Lee as Billali
  • André Morell as Haumeid

The Vengeance of She (1968)

Kneel Before “SHE”

The ultimate female who used her beauty and her body to bring kingdoms to their downfall and men to their knees!

The_Vengeance_of_SheThe Vengeance of She is a British fantasy film which bears little in common with the novel Ayesha: The Return of She by H. Rider Haggard. It was made by Hammer Films as a loose sequel to the 1965 hit film She.

A beautiful young European girl, Carol, is taken over by the spirit of mysterious Ayesha, queen of the lost city of Kuma. Carol is taken to Kuma to succeed the almost-immortal Ayesha as empress of Kuma.

Notable Cast

  • John Richardson – Kallikrates
  • Olinka Berova – Carol
  • Colin Blakely – George
  • George Sewell – Harry
  • André Morell – Kassim

She (1982)

SANDAHL BERGMAN tempted CONAN and now she is ready to take on the world!

She_1982Released in July, 1985 in the UK, this Italian English-language post apocalyptic film stars Sandahl Bergman.

Set 23 years after an event called “The Cancellation”, She follows Tom, whose sister is captured by a local tribe. He sets out to find and rescue her, while avoiding the dangerous tribes he encounters along the way. “She” ends up aiding Tom after he escapes from her. She decides to help after learning of a prophecy given to her by a local seer.

The heroes have to face a tutu-wearing giant, a psychic communist, toga-wearing werewolves, and mutants bandaged up like Egyptian mummies.

Advertisements