She by H. Rider Haggard
She Who Must Be Obeyed
She is a classic that, with over 83 million copies sold in 44 different languages, is one of the best-selling books of all time. Extraordinarily popular upon its release, She has never been out of print.
The story follows the journey of Horace Holly and his ward, Leo Vincey, to a lost kingdom Africa. There, they encounter a primitive race of natives and a mysterious white queen, Ayesha, who reigns as the all-powerful "She", or "She-who-must-be-obeyed," a woman of extraordinary beauty and malice. She has been waiting for two thousand years for the return of the man she once loved and believes that Leo Vincey is this man.
In this work, Rider Haggard developed the conventions of the Lost World sub-genre, which many later authors emulated. She is one of the most influential novels in modern literature, with authors like Rudyard Kipling, Henry Miller, Graham Greene, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Margaret Atwood all acknowledging the importance of the work to their own and others writing.
After the initial publication in 1887, She became an immediate success. She has been adapted for the cinema at least nine times, and was one of the earliest films to be made in 1899 as La Colonne de feu (The Pillar of Fire). The 1965 film Ursula Andress as Ayesha and John Richardson as her reincarnated love, with Peter Cushing and Bernard Cribbins as other members of the expedition.