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Branching Down the Evolutionary Ladder And Exploring the Virgin Territory in Lost Race Fiction

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Title: Branching Down the Evolutionary Ladder And Exploring the Virgin Territory in Lost Race Fiction
Authors: Yco, Lourena
Advisor: Rieder, John
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Between the 1870s and the 1920s, several Englishmen discovered something quite extraordinary and terrifying deep in the uncharted territories of Africa and South America. The accounts of their fascinating journeys are found within popular adventure novels collectively known as the Lost Race novels. This genre created a new twist to old quest romances and adventure stories. Its basic premise involves white, male explorers traveling to a distant land and encountering strange lost races of people. These lost races differ greatly from the explorers and their lands always contain huge amount of wealth, power, and magic. They are always depicted as barbaric and uncivilized and lack a sense of origin or self-history. They exhibit devilish characteristics, like cannibalism or human sacrifice, that endanger and antagonize the European explorers. These characteristics give the Europeans a reason to seize control over them and to take their wealth as a sort of gratuity. The Lost Race adventure novels not only reflect the imperialism occurring during this time period but glorify acts of conquest by romanticizing the adventure narratives. H. Rider Haggard's 1885 novel King Solomon's Mines became by far the most successful work of this genre and established Haggard as the master of Lost Race fiction. Haggard lived most of his life in Africa, and his experiences there certainly shaped his novels. He managed to produce about 129 novels in his lifetime, including the popular works She and Allan Quatermain (both published in the same year, 1887). In 1912, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle paid homage to his contemporary Haggard through his version of a Lost Race novel called The Lost World. Both Haggard's and Doyle's popular Lost Race novels have never been out of print and continue to be popular even today. The impact of the Lost Race genre permeates modern culture in action films like the Indiana Jones series and The Mummy series.
Pages/Duration: 39 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/31859
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for English



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