A History of Adventure
  • Publication Date: February 1, 2006
  • ISBN: 9781551116471 / 1551116472
  • 450 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Broadview eBooks are available on a variety of platforms. To learn more, please visit our eBook information page.

Note on pricing.

Request Exam Copy

Examination copy policy

Availability: Worldwide


A History of Adventure

  • Publication Date: February 1, 2006
  • ISBN: 9781551116471 / 1551116472
  • 450 pages; 5½" x 8½"

First published in 1886–87, H. Rider Haggard’s imperial romance follows its English heroes from the quiet rooms of Cambridge to the uncharted interior of Africa in search of a legendary lost city with an ageless white queen. The two men find their way to the ancient city of Kôr, where the beautiful and mysterious Ayesha, “She-who-must-be-obeyed,” rules. Despite her cruelty, both men become fascinated by Ayesha, who leads them on a harrowing journey to bathe in the underground “River of Life.” A thrilling “history of adventure,” She also reveals the complexity of Victorian attitudes towards race, gender, exploration, and empire.

This Broadview edition presents the novel in its original illustrated Graphic magazine version, never before republished, and includes a critical introduction and supporting materials that demonstrate the novel’s relationship to late-Victorian issues such as imperialism, archaeology, race, evolution, and the rise of the “New Woman.”


“The Broadview edition of She represents a benchmark in Rider Haggard studies. Situating She within a broad array of cultural documents on race, gender, empire, and archaeology, Andrew M. Stauffer has created an invaluable resource for contextualizing this fascinating adventure story within the ambulatory scope of the late-Victorian scientific and geographical imaginary. This edition will provide students, scholars, and the general reader alike with a sound foundation for reading (and rereading) Haggard’s classic novel.” — Shawn Malley, Bishop’s University

“Professor Stauffer’s editing is an exemplary case of textual stewardship: great care without imposition. His introduction is not only authoritative and lucid but stylistically engaging, as energetic as the novel itself—an ideal introduction for first-time readers. The appendix topics are exactly what is needed, and the materials included provide an excellent context. The selection of non-fiction pieces by Haggard himself on questions of genre, imperialism, archaeology, and gender roles provides especially valuable insights into the author, the novel, and the times.” — J. Jeffrey Franklin, University of Colorado at Denver



H. Rider Haggard: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text

List of Illustrations

She: A History of Adventure

Appendix A: Victorian Critical Reception

  1. Pall Mall Gazette (4 January 1887)
  2. The Literary World (7 January 1887)
  3. Public Opinion (14 January 1887)
  4. The Queen (15 January 1887)
  5. The Academy (15 January 1887)
  6. The Spectator (15 January 1887)
  7. H. Rider Haggard, Spectator (22 January 1887)
  8. Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine (February 1887)
  9. H. Rider Haggard, “About Fiction,” Contemporary Review (February 1887)
  10. From Augustus M. Moore, “Rider Haggard and ‘The New School of Romance,’” Time (May

Appendix B: Victorian Archaeology: Mummies and Lost Cities

  1. From H.G. Tomkins, The Great Discovery of Royal Mummies at Deir el-Bahari (1882)
  2. “Royal Mummies Recently Unbandaged at the Boulak Museum,” Graphic (31 July 1886)
  3. From E.L.Wilson, “Finding Pharaoh,” Century Magazine (May 1887)
  4. From H. Rider Haggard, “Preface” to A.Wilmot, Monomotapa (Rhodesia), Its Monuments and its
  5. From James Bryce, “Out of the Darkness—Zimbabwe,” Impressions of South Africa (1897)
  6. From G. Elliot Smith, “The Mummy of Queen Nsikhonsou,” The Royal Mummies (1912)
  7. From H. Rider Haggard, “Egypt,” The Days of My Life (1926)

Appendix C: Race and Empire

  1. From Robert Knox, The Races of Men (1862)
  2. From James Hunt, On the Negro’s Place in Nature (1863)
  3. From Charles H. Pearson, National Life and Character (1893)
  4. From Benjamin Kidd, Social Evolution (1894)
  5. From C. De Thierry, Imperialism (1898)

Appendix D: The New Woman

  1. From “Beauty is Power,” Essays in Defence of Women (1868)
  2. From John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women (1869)
  3. From Olive Schreiner, “Three Dreams in a Desert,” Dreams (1891)
  4. From Sarah Grand, “The New Aspect of the Woman Question,” North American Review (March 1894)
  5. From H. Rider Haggard, “A Man’s View of Woman,” African Review of Mining, Finance, and
    (September 1894)
  6. From Hugh E.M. Stutfield, “The Psychology of Feminism,” Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine
    (January 1897)

Appendix E: Major Revisions for the First English Edition (1887)

Works Cited and Recommended Reading

Andrew M. Stauffer is an Assistant Professor of English at Boston University. He is the author of Anger, Revolution, and Romanticism (Cambridge University Press) and the co-editor of Robert Browning’s Poetry (W.W. Norton).