H. Rider Haggard modernized lost race stories

The basis of the past popularity of Lost Race novels was H. Rider Haggard, whose excellence hundreds of lesser talents recognized as worthy of imitation. Of course, Haggard didn’t invent the idea of lost races, which was abroad from antiquity, in cultural myths about submerged former inhabitants of conquered regions, in utopians & Swiftian satires of distant island cultures, in the continuous & widespread expectation that Amazons & similar exotic societies thrived beyond the limits of the known world (Columbus then the Conquistadores watched soberly for Amazons described in romances of Amadis the Gaul; & the very state of California is named for a queen of one of these imputed nations, a woman no less thrilling than Haggard’s immortal She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed), & in speculations on the whereabouts of Israel’s lost tribes. Continue reading