This collection aims to present She as a novel whose essential value, exceeding the boundaries of adventure fiction, depends on the link with its late Victorian context. Written as a story of imagination, infused with mysticism, supernatural, and occultism, She also dramatizes nineteenth-century historical, cultural, and anthropological features, such as the existential doubts fostered by scientific discoveries and religious hesitation, the sense of precariousness produced by social and cultural transitions, the complex question of British Imperial authority. Also, the ethical themes of good and evil, the idea of romantic love as one of the few enduring elements of man’s life, and the woman question are part of the novel’s cultural background. By approaching She under a variety of perspectives, the essays give voice to a number of hermeneutical qualities that can be traced under an apparently undemanding fantasy narrative. The contributors have all written on H. Rider Haggard on different occasions, and some of them have the merit of being the main referents of Haggardian criticism today.
Zulli, T. (2009). "Introduction" to She. Explorations into a Romance, 20, 7-14.