The Lost World

The Lost World

by Arthur Conan Doyle

Other Format

$0.95 View All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

Unlike some other reproductions of classic texts (1) We have not used OCR(Optical Character Recognition), as this leads to bad quality books with introduced typos. (2) In books where there are images such as portraits, maps, sketches etc We have endeavoured to keep the quality of these images, so they represent accurately the original artefact. Although occasionally there may be certain imperfections with these old texts, we feel they deserve to be made available for future generations to enjoy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425035146
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 02/28/1977
Series: Professor Challenger Series
Age Range: 15 Years

About the Author

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) is the celebrated author of many adventure novels, including The Lost World and The Poison Belt, and the creator of the hugely popular detective stories of Sherlock Holmes.

Date of Birth:

May 22, 1859

Date of Death:

July 7, 1930

Place of Birth:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Place of Death:

Crowborough, Sussex, England

Education:

Edinburgh University, B.M., 1881; M.D., 1885

Read an Excerpt

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?"

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
CHAPTER I: THERE ARE HEROISMS ALL ROUND US 3
CHAPTER II: TRY YOUR LUCK WITH PROFESSOR CHALLENGER 5
CHAPTER III: HE IS A PERFECTLY IMPOSSIBLE PERSON 9
CHAPTER IV: IT'S JUST THE VERY BIGGEST THING IN THE WORLD 13
CHAPTER V: QUESTION! 21
CHAPTER VI: I WAS THE FLAIL OF THE LORD 27
CHAPTER VII: TO-MORROW WE DISAPPEAR INTO THE UNKNOWN 31
CHAPTER VIII: THE OUTLYING PICKETS OF THE NEW WORLD 36
CHAPTER IX: WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN IT? 41
CHAPTER X: THE MOST WONDERFUL THINGS HAVE HAPPENED 52
CHAPTER XI: FOR ONCE I WAS THE HERO 59
CHAPTER XII: IT WAS DREADFUL IN THE FOREST 66
CHAPTER XIII: A SIGHT WHICH I SHALL NEVER FORGET 73
CHAPTER XIV: THOSE WERE THE REAL CONQUESTS 79
CHAPTER XV: OUR EYES HAVE SEEN GREAT WONDERS 86
CHAPTER XVI: A PROCESSION! A PROCESSION! 93

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Lost World 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was surprised how intriguing this book was,reading from beginning to end with barely a pause.
mrtall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the days before airplanes and satellite photography, it may just have seemed possible that the vast remoteness of the Amazon might hide a land that time forgot. Arthur Conan Doyle takes us there in The Lost World.Our protagonist is a news reporter who¿s looking to make his mark on the world ¿ and to impress his status-conscious amour ¿ by an act of derring-do. He encounters a seemingly mad scientist who insists he has found a land that dinosaurs walk. And then when a scientific dispute explodes into a mission to prove ¿ or disprove ¿ these wild claims, our hero seizes the opportunity, and signs on. What follows is a highly enjoyable and well-written adventure story, with occasional bursts of humor as well. Although this boys¿ own adventure theme is perhaps a bit unexpected coming from Conan Doyle, it¿s interesting to note the commonalities with the Holmes stories: chiefly, the faith in reason and scientific verification of theories. I read this on my phone during a trip; it¿s freely available from Project Gutenberg, and is a perfect `just in case¿ book to have along when you need a diversion.Recommended.
mccin68 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable but ended too soon. The pace was frenetic too little time in describing such a world as so much was focused on action, would have prefered more of a balance. IThe story was missing details about the reprecussions of the discoveries made and the decisions the team enacted while in the lost world which would have made the story more enjoyable.
avhacker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book is for anyone who has a spirit of adventure!!!!the dinosuar aspect is also really cool so if you love dinosaurs give this book a try!
verenka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book. I don't read a lot of classics so I was surprised how much I liked it. I enjoyed the writing style and how the story was delivered in installments of letters sent home by the storyteller.It is of course shocking for politically correct people like me to read how they refer to their native south american helpers and how they thought nothing of wiping out this formerly unknown tribe of ape men. This is, however, a story that was written 97 years ago, long before expressions like racial discrimination and the protection of species became part of the dictionary. I read the story trying to keep that in mind and ended up liking it a lot, particularly the characters and their development from timid journalist to adventurer, from infamous professor with a bad reputation to celebrated authority on prehistoric biology. And the setup of the story being delivered in installments of letters, gradually uncovering the journey's progress.
shawse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a delightfully fun read. It was true to the form of a boy's adventure novel of it's era.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Couldn't stop reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. However, there is too much spacing between paragraphs. Other than that, it's a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Andrea Villers More than 1 year ago
Does not work in night mode-screen displays blank white pages. Spacing between paragraphs is excessive. Otherwise good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sarah_Stegall More than 1 year ago
The sample I read has exposed hyperlinks, poor sectioning, too much space between paragraphs. The illustrations were nice but small. Needs an introduction to give some context.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago