The Lost World
About the Author
Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)
Arthur Conan Doyle was a British writer and physician. He created the character Sherlock Holmes in 1887 for A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels and fifty-six short stories about Holmes and Dr. Watson. The Sherlock Holmes stories are milestones in the field of crime fiction.
Doyle was a prolific writer; other than Holmes stories, his works include fantasy and science fiction stories about Professor Challenger and humorous stories about the Napoleonic soldier Brigadier Gerard, as well as plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, and historical novels.
Doyle's attitude towards his most famous creation was ambivalent. In November 1891, he wrote to his mother: "I think of slaying Holmes, ... and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things." His mother responded, "You won't! You can't! You mustn't!" In an attempt to deflect publishers' demands for more Holmes stories, he raised his price to a level intended to discourage them, but found they were willing to pay even the large sums he asked. As a result, he became one of the best-paid authors of his time.
In December 1893, to dedicate more of his time to his historical novels, Doyle had Holmes and Professor Moriarty plunge to their deaths together down the Reichenbach Falls in the story "The Final Problem". Public outcry, however, led him to feature Holmes in 1901 in the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.
In 1903, Doyle published his first Holmes short story in ten years, "The Adventure of the Empty House", in which it was explained that only Moriarty had fallen, but since Holmes had other dangerous enemies—especially Colonel Sebastian Moran—he had arranged to make it look as if he too were dead. Holmes was ultimately featured in a total of 56 short stories—the last published in 1927—and four novels by Doyle, and has since appeared in many novels and stories by other authors.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died of a heart attack at the age of 71. He was found clutching his chest in the hall of Windlesham Manor, his house in East Sussex, on 7 July 1930. His last words were directed toward his wife: "You are wonderful”. (From Wikipedia)
The Lost World (1912)
The Lost World There’s only one way for Professor George Edward Challenger to prove that dinosaurs still roam the earth. He invites skeptical journalist Edward Malone to accompany him and a group of adventurers to see the creatures with his own eyes. But when they arrive at the fantastic volcanic plateau in the Amazon where time stands still, their expedition quickly becomes one of survival.
With its cliff-hanging escapes, rousing humor, and nailbiting suspense, The Lost World is a pioneering work of fantasy-adventure that paved the way for every thrill ride to follow.
Questions for The Lost World
What are the benefits of having Malone tell the story? Is the story limited in any way by his being the storyteller?
What kinds of humor are represented in The Lost World? How successful are the humorous scenes?
Identify the prehistoric animals that populate the Lost World. When did each live? In what kind of environment did each live?
Conan Doyle depicts prehistoric creatures according to the knowledge of his time. What aspects of his creatures have been outdated by more recent research?
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