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July 31, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

SHE by H. Rider Haggard (Signet: $5.95; 317 pp.). More than a century after its initial publication in 1887, H. Rider Haggard's "She" remains the archetypal fantasy-adventure novel: Its influence can be seen in countless books and films, from the stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs to Stephen Spielberg's "Indiana Jones" series. Three intrepid Englishmen visit East Africa, where they stumble onto the ancient Kingdom of Kor. This eerie necropolis is ruled by the ageless, dazzlingly beautiful Ayesha, She Who Must Be Obeyed , an enchantress more deadly than Circe. "She" may be read to gain a clearer understanding of 19th-Century attitudes toward woman and Africa--or just for fun.

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