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The Lost World Relié – 1 mars 1998

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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
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Chapter 1
"There Are Heroisms All Round Us"


Mr. Hungerton, her father, really was the most tactless person upon earth-a fluffy, feathery, untidy cockatoo of a man, perfectly good-natured, but absolutely centred upon his own silly self. If anything could have driven me from Gladys, it would have been the thought of such a father-in-law. I am convinced that he really believed in his heart that I came round to the Chestnuts three days a week for the pleasure of his company, and very especially to hear his views upon bimetallism-a subject upon which he was by way of being an authority.

For an hour or more that evening I listened to his monotonous chirrup about bad money driving out good, the token value of silver, the depreciation of the rupee, and the true standards of exchange.

"Suppose," he cried, with feeble violence, "that all the debts in the world were called up simultaneously and immediate payment insisted upon. What, under our present conditions, would happen then?"

I gave the self-evident answer that I should be a ruined man, upon which he jumped from his chair, reproved me for my habitual levity, which made it impossible for him to discuss any reasonable subject in my presence, and bounced off out of the room to dress for a Masonic meeting.

At last I was alone with Gladys, and the moment of fate had come! All that evening I had felt like the soldier who awaits the signal which will send him on a forlorn hope, hope of victory and fear of repulse alternating in his mind.

She sat with that proud, delicate profile of hers outlined against the red curtain. How beautiful she was! And yet how aloof! We had been friends, quite good friends; but never could I get beyond the same comradeship which I might have established with one of my fellow-reporters upon the Gazette-perfectly frank, perfectly kindly, and perfectly unsexual. My instincts are all against a woman being too frank and at her ease with me. It is no compliment to a man. Where the real sex feeling begins, timidity and distrust are its companions, heritage from old wicked days when love and violence went often hand in hand. The bent head, the averted eye, the faltering voice, the wincing figure-these, and not the unshrinking gaze and frank reply, are the true signals of passion. Even in my short life I had learned as much as that-or had inherited it in that race-memory which we call instinct.

Gladys was full of every womanly quality. Some judged her to be cold and hard, but such a thought was treason. That delicately-bronzed skin, almost Oriental in its colouring, that raven hair, the large liquid eyes, the full but exquisite lips-all the stigmata of passion were there. But I was sadly conscious that up to now I had never found the secret of drawing it forth. However, come what might, I should have done with suspense and bring matters to a head to-night. She could but refuse me, and better be a repulsed lover than an accepted brother.

So far my thoughts had carried me, and I was about to break the long and uneasy silence when two critical dark eyes looked round at me, and the proud head was shaken in smiling reproof.

"I have a presentiment that you are going to propose, Ned. I do wish you wouldn't, for things are so much nicer as they are."

I drew my chair a little nearer.

"Now, how did you know that I was going to propose?" I asked, in genuine wonder.

"Don't women always know? Do you suppose any woman in the world was ever taken unawares? But, oh, Ned, our friendship has been so good and so pleasant! What a pity to spoil it! Don't you feel how splendid it is that a young man and a young woman should be able to talk face to face as we have talked?"

"I don't know, Gladys. You see, I can talk face to face with-with the station-master." I can't imagine how that official came into the matter, but in he trotted and set us both laughing. "That does not satisfy me in the least. I want my arms round you and your head on my breast, and, oh, Gladys, I want--"

She had sprung from her chair as she saw signs that I proposed to demonstrate some of my wants.

"You've spoiled everything, Ned," she said. "It's all so beautiful and natural until this kind of thing comes in. It is such a pity. Why can't you control yourself?"

"I didn't invent it," I pleaded. "It's nature. It's love."

"Well, perhaps if both love it may be different. I have never felt it."

"But you must-you, with your beauty, with your soul! Oh, Gladys, you were made for love! You must love!"

"One must wait till it comes."

"But why can't you love me, Gladys? Is it my appearance, or what?"

She did unbend a little. She put forward a hand-such a gracious, stooping attitude it was-and she pressed back my head. Then she looked into my upturned face with a very wistful smile.

"No, it isn't that," she said at last. "You're not a conceited boy by nature, and so I can safely tell you that it is not that. It's deeper."

"My character?"

She nodded severely.

"What can I do to mend it? Do sit down and talk it over. No, really I won't, if you'll only sit down!"

She looked at me with a wondering distrust which was much more to my mind than her whole-hearted confidence. How primitive and bestial it looks when you put it down in black and white! And perhaps after all it is only a feeling peculiar to myself. Anyhow, she sat down.

"Now tell me what's amiss with me."

"I'm in love with somebody else," said she.

It was my turn to jump out of my chair.

"It's nobody in particular," she explained, laughing at the expression of my face, "only an ideal. I've never met the kind of man I mean."

"Tell me about him. What does he look like?"

"Oh, he might look very much like you."

"How dear of you to say that! Well, what is it that he does that I don't do? Just say the word-teetotal, vegetarian, aeronaut, Theosophist, Superman-I'll have a try at it, Gladys, if you will only give me an idea what would please you."

She laughed at the elasticity of my character. "Well, in the first place, I don't think my ideal would speak like that," said she. "He would be a harder, sterner man, not so ready to adopt himself to a silly girl's whim. But above all he must be a man who could do, who could act, who would look Death in the face and have no fear of him-a man of great deeds and strange experiences. It is never a man that I should love, but always the glories he had won, for they would be reflected upon me. Think of Richard Burton! When I read his wife's life of him I could so understand her love. And Lady Stanley! Did you ever read the wonderful last chapter of that book about her husband? These are the sort of men that a woman could worship with all her soul and yet be the greater, not the less, on account of her love, honoured by all the world as the inspirer of noble deeds."

She looked so beautiful in her enthusiasm that I nearly brought down the whole level of the interview. I gripped myself hard, and went on with the argument.

"We can't all be Stanleys and Burtons," said I. "Besides, we don't get the chance-at least, I never had the chance. If I did I should try to take it."

"But chances are all around you. It is the mark of the kind of man I mean that he makes his own chances. You can't hold him back. I've never met him, and yet I seem to know him so well. There are heroisms all round us waiting to be done. It's for men to do them, and for women to reserve their love as a reward for such men. Look at that young Frenchman who went up last week in a balloon. It was blowing a gale of wind, but because he was announced to go he insisted on starting. The wind blew him one thousand five hundred miles in twenty-four hours, and he fell in the middle of Russia. That was the kind of man I mean. Think of the woman he loved, and how other women must have envied her! That's what I should like-to be envied for my man."

"I'd have done it to please you."

"But you shouldn't do it merely to please me. You should do it because you can't help it, because it's natural to you-because the man in you is crying out for heroic expression. Now, when you described the Wigan coal explosion last month, could you not have gone down and helped those people, in spite of the choke-damp."

"I did."

"You never said so."

"There was nothing worth bucking about."

"I didn't know." She looked at me with rather more interest. "That was brave of you."

"I had to. If you want to write good copy you must be where the things are."

"What a prosaic motive! It seems to take all the romance out of it. But still, whatever your motive, I am glad that you went down that mine." She gave me her hand, but with such sweetness and dignity that I could only stoop and kiss it. "I dare say I am merely a foolish woman with a young girl's fancies. And yet it is so real with me, so entirely part of my very self, that I cannot help acting upon it. If I marry, I do want to marry a famous man."

"Why should you not?" I cried. "It is women like you who brace men up. Give me a chance and see if I will take it! Besides, as you say, men ought to make their own chances, and not wait until they are given. Look at Clive-just a clerk, and he conquered India. By George! I'll do something in the world yet!"

She laughed at my sudden Irish effervescence.

"Why not?" she said. "You have everything a man could have-youth, health, strength, education, energy. I was sorry you spoke. And now I am glad-so glad-if it wakens these thoughts in you."

"And if I do--?"

Her hand rested like warm velvet upon my lips.

"Not another word, sir. You should have been at the office for evening duty half an hour ago, only I hadn't the heart to remind you. Some day, perhaps, when you have won your place in the world, we shall talk it over again."

And so it was that I found myself that foggy November evening pursuing the Camberwell tram with my heart glowing within me, and with the eager determination that not another day should elapse before I should find some deed which was worthy of my lady. But who in all this wide world could ever have imagined the incredible shape which that deed was to take, or the strange steps by which I was led to the doing of it?

And, after all, this opening chapter will seem to the reader to have nothing to do with my narrative; and yet there would have been no narrative without it, for it is only when a man goes out into the world with the thought that there are heroisms all round him, and with the desire all alive in his heart to follow any which may come within sight of him, that he breaks away as I did from the life he knows, and ventures forth into the wonderful mystic twilight land where lie the great adventures and the great rewards. Behold me, then, at the office of the Daily Gazette, on the staff of which I was a most insignificant unit, with the settled determination that very night, if possible, to find the quest which should be worthy of my Gladys! Was it hardness, was it selfishness, that she should ask me to risk my life for her own glorification? Such thoughts may come to middle age, but never to ardent three-and-twenty in the fever of his first love.

CHAPTER II

"Try Your Luck with

Professor Challenger"

I always liked McArdle, the crabbed old, round-backed, red-headed news editor, and I rather hoped that he liked me. Of course, Beaumont was the real boss, but he lived in the rarefied atmosphere of some Olympian height from which he could distinguish nothing smaller than an international crisis or a split in the Cabinet. Sometimes we saw him passing in lonely majesty to his inner sanctum with his eyes staring vaguely and his mind hovering over the Balkans or the Persian Gulf. He was above and beyond us. But McArdle was his first lieutenant, and it was he that we knew. The old man nodded as I entered the room, and he pushed his spectacles far up on his bald forehead.

"Well, Mr. Malone, from all I hear, you seem to be doing very well," said he, in his kindly Scotch accent.

I thanked him.

"The colliery explosion was excellent. So was the Southwark fire. You have the true descreeptive touch. What did you want to see me about?"

"To ask a favour."

He looked alarmed and his eyes shunned mine.

"Tut! tut! What is it?"

"Do you think, sir, that you could possibly send me on some mission for the paper? I would do my best to put it through and get you some good copy."

"What sort of a meesion had you in your mind, Mr. Malone?"

"Well, sir, anything that had adventure and danger in it. I would really do my very best. The more difficult it was the better it would suit me."

"You seem very anxious to lose your life."

"To justify my life, sir."

"Dear me, Mr. Malone, this is very-very exalted. I'm afraid the day for this sort of thing is rather past. The expense of the 'special meesion' business hardly justifies the result, and, of course, in any case it would only be an experienced man with a name that would command public confidence who would get such an order. The big blank spaces in the map are all being filled in, and there's no room for romance anywhere. Wait a bit, though!" he added, with a sudden smile upon his face. "Talking of the blank spaces of the map gives me an idea. What about exposing a fraud-a modern Munchausen-and making him rideeculous? You could show him up as the liar that he is! Eh, man, it would be fine. How does it appeal to you?" --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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The Lost World . . . provide[s] evidence that Doyle had it in him to be one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time.”—Sam Moskowitz --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Format: Broché
I recommend this amazing book, an adventure filled with emotion and with many twists and turns. The format of the book surprised me a bit (around 15x21 cm). Enjoy the great writing of Sherlock Holmes' author.
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Par Carol le 22 décembre 2013
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I have never been a Sherlock Holmes fan but I was told this was a good book.
I enjoyed it but I do find that Arthur Conan Doyle very long winded.
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Format: Broché
une super histoire fantastique, à lire absolument. Un anglais facile à comprendre, pour tous les admirateurs de littératures anglaises
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f29d15c) étoiles sur 5 605 commentaires
15 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f2d0e10) étoiles sur 5 A classic genre brought alive again through e-books. 20 novembre 2013
Par Harley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I first read this book when I was in grade school. I happened across it recently 40 years later and fell in love with it all over again. There is something about late Victorian era adventure tales - specifically English ones - that have always appealed to me. Doyle, Kipling, and others with their characters that dash off across the British Empire, etc, etc. While the charaterizations in the book are sexist, racist, and twelve other "ists" as compared with modern thinking, there is a certain classic form and content to the story telling of this era that started my wanderlust as a boy and brought fond memories to an aging man. If you never read Doyle, Welles, Kipling, or Burroughs as an adolescent then you may not want to start now as the books will feel old fashioned and hoplessly out of place in today's world; but if you grew up with these authors they are worth another visit for a glimpse back into a time where adventures ruled, the guy always got the girl, and the characters had simple and clear values and beliefs (albeit often narrow minded and bigoted).
22 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f2d4084) étoiles sur 5 Classic adventure, questionable science 2 janvier 2013
Par Karl Janssen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Outside of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous creation is the scientist and adventurer George Edward Challenger. Professor Challenger starred in three novels and two short stories, beginning with The Lost World, first published in 1912. Edward Malone, a journalist of athletic build but timid demeanor, seeks an interview with Challenger, hoping the eccentric misanthrope might provide some good copy for his paper. Though at first Challenger is hostile to the reporter out of a general hatred for those of his profession, he soon takes a liking to the young man. The relationship between the two characters is very similar to that between Holmes and Watson, except that Challenger is a bigger jerk than Holmes and a far less intriguing character. Challenger reveals to his newfound confidant that in the Amazon rain forest he has discovered a remote plateau where prehistoric creatures that have long been thought extinct still thrive. When Challenger makes his findings public before a meeting of the Zoological Institute, he is confronted by doubters. To test the veracity of his claims, an expedition is hastily organized, consisting of Dr. Summerlee, a rival scientist; Lord John Roxton, an aristocratic sportsman, and Malone, who volunteers for the journey in hopes not only of finding a good story but also of adding some much-needed adventure to his life.

Malone is the narrator of the tale, and most of the book is written in the form of letters sent back to his newspaper. This makes for an awkward construction, as it becomes clear that at the end of every chapter Malone is going to be safe in camp scribbling his account, while some overly convenient method will be contrived for an Indian to carry off his letter to the civilized world.

The Lost World is the prototypical tale of a team of scientists venturing into unknown lands, upon which Jurassic Park is just one of hundreds of descendants. In typical Conan Doyle fashion, the story starts out at a rather slow pace, with secrets being revealed gradually over time. Though this challenges the attention span of the 21st-century reader, there is a charming freshness to the sense of wonder expressed when remarkable discoveries are finally made. Dinosaurs live! It should come as no surprise that the expedition eventually reaches the plateau and finds the prehistoric creatures in question. The fact that the adventurers are not travelling back in time, but rather visiting an area of evolutionary stagnation, allows Conan Doyle to indulge in some evolutionary anachronisms. In this world, unlike in prehistoric reality, dinosaurs coexist alongside prehistoric mammals, ape-like humanoids, and modern Native Americans. One of the book's disappointments is that it does not spend enough time on the dinosaurs, but brushes by them rather quickly in order to focus on the apemen, at which point it becomes just another white-man-conquering-the-savages story. Throughout the book, the expedition members seem less concerned with practicing science than they are with invading a new territory. Towards the end of the book, the expedition team makes a choice that no scientist would ever make, a choice to destroy rather than to preserve. The overall message of the book, rather blatantly stated, is one of the superiority of man over nature, and, less obviously, of white European men in particular.

Though it was perhaps ground breaking for its time, and it's certainly a step above run-of-the-mill pulp fiction, The Lost World has since been surpassed by many of the imitators it inspired. Those who appreciate classic adventure fiction will find much to appreciate, but it should not be considered a must-read by any means.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f2d42c4) étoiles sur 5 Enjoyable adventure novel 18 octobre 2002
Par Inspector Pauls - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
"I have wrought my simple plan
If I bring one hour of joy
To the boy who's half a man
or the man who's half a boy".
--Arthur Conan Doyle
Sure, the man has wrought it already with the Sherlock Holmes adventures (specially the short stories, although some of the novels are superb too) and he does it again with professor Challenger's adventures and the quest for a lost world where dinosaurs are still alive.
Sure, the story might be stronger in the last century (oops, sorry, the century before that) because the characters and the storyline have become adventure stereotypes. And besides, for an english reader it must've seemed very likely to find anything in South America, from dinosaurs to an extraterrestial civilization. Besides there's some subtle cultural racism in the story. But, hey, those are not writing flaws, art also gets old. And only the masterpieces as this become remembered classics.
As for the plot, I leave it for you to discover. I wouldn't want to spoil any of the twists. But you'll very likely have a lot of fun. Besides the excitment of the journey I was laughing out loud at some parts, specially with dr. Challenger, the real star of the novel.
That's all, folks!
Excuse my english!
19 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f2d4624) étoiles sur 5 A pleasant surprise from a pile of old books! 25 mai 2002
Par D. McDiffett - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
You know you're reading an old book when "flaccid organ" has nothing to do with sex! And what an enjoyable book this one is. Attracted by the pictures of the dinosaurs on the cover, I finally got around to reading it and recommend it to all lovers of adventure stories. Warning: You may need patience to wade through the wordy descriptions, but it's well worth it for the humorous encounters between the two Professors and the conflicts with the prehistoric world. Yes, Doyle reflects the racism of his day towards Indians and blacks, but readers who see his words as time capsules from an earlier time will not have a problem with them.
My only complaint was that the odd, hopping carnivorous dinosaur is never linked to a dinosaur I am familiar with. Iguanadons, pleisiosaurs and even a stegosaurus are mentioned, but no specific name is given the most dangerous of all. Minor complaint, though.
Grab a copy of this book and enjoy a trip to the wilds of South America's rain forest!
19 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f2d4840) étoiles sur 5 A high-adventure, scientific thriller 31 décembre 2001
Par Daniel Jolley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was really a very talented writer, and he had many tales to tell that did not involve the famous Sherlock Holmes. The Lost World is perhaps the best known of his noncanonical stories. He describes a lush, mysterious plateau in the remote Amazonian regions of South America in which creatures thought to have died out eons ago still stalk the earth. Professor Challenger, while possessing some of the confidence and intellect of a Holmes, could not be more different in his passions and boisterous, conceited behavior; it is his contention that a "lost world" does exist. Recruiting a disbelieving zoologist, a famed adventurer, and a fresh, young newspaper man to go with him, the group sets out for the inaccessible reaches of the jungle and manages, after some great effort, to reach the isolated plateau. By an act of treachery by an Indian bearing a grudge against the famed Lord Roxton, their portal of entry is destroyed, leaving them trapped in the mysterious new land they dub Maple White Land after an American who earlier discovered the place but died soon thereafter (but not before encountering Professor Challenger in the Amazon and revealing to him its existence and location). They build a camp and begin investigating the area, quickly discovering unknown forms of plant life and animal life, including dinosaurs and pterodactyls. As if the monstrous reptilian beasts aren't hazard enough for them, they soon find themselves besieged by a vicious race of ape-men, whom they eventually take on in alliance with a separate race of Indians. The newspaperman narrates events in a series of postings he manages to get sent back to London, describing the creatures and their habits. Each man is called upon to distinguish himself through deeds of heroism in order to escape this newly discovered world and return to civilization with the scientific coup of all time.
Conan Doyle's characterizations and descriptions of both man and beast are rich and vibrant. Ironically, the lost world seems much more real than the world of London. The scientific meetings held in front of a number of disbelieving scholars result in great commotions, tempests of defamations and praises, fainting women, and combatant men. When Challenger reveals his proof of the exploits that have been related, untold chaos and zeal follow quickly on the heels of one another. As for the reporter, he made the astounding journey because of a woman--while this part of the story is somewhat silly, it is nevertheless fitting. The woman he loves declares that she can only love a man who has taken great risks and won fame for himself, and this sets our protagonist on as daring an adventure as could be found at any time. It may well be that such compulsions of the heart have led to many great acts and discoveries in history; it is even more probable that such exploits have been rewarded in the predictable way our protagonist's was, the details of which I will endeavor not to disclose here.
All in all, it's a wonderful tale of adventure, cunning, heroics, and scientific achievement. Somewhat surprisingly, there are not that many dinosaurs described in the story. We have a fleeting glimpse of a stegiosaur, but we mostly read of medium-sized dinosaurs such as the "iguanadon." There is no brontosaurus or T-Rex here, which is somewhat disappointing. The jungle action actually centers around the ape-men and Indians, as once again, even amid the prehistoric realm of Jurassic life, we find that humanoids, even of the most primitive type, are the most dangerous, ruthless animals on the earth.
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