Ayesha: The Return of She by H. Rider Haggard Page 1 of 368
My dear Lang,
The appointed years-alas! how many of them-are gone by, leaving Ayesha lovely and loving and ourselves alive. As it was promised in the Caves of Kor She has returned again.
To you therefore who accepted the first, I offer this further history of one of the various incarnations of that Immortal.
My hope is that after you have read her record, notwithstanding her subtleties and sins and the shortcomings of her chronicler (no easy office!) you may continue to wear your chain of "loyalty to our lady Ayesha." Such, I confess, is still the fate of your old friend
H. RIDER HAGGARD. DITCHINGHAM, 1905.
Not with a view of conciliating those readers who on principle object to sequels, but as a matter of fact, the Author wishes to say that he does not so regard this book.
Rather does he venture to ask that it should be considered as the conclusion of an imaginative tragedy (if he may so call it) whereof one half has been already published.
This conclusion it was always his desire to write should he be destined to live through those many years which, in obedience to his original design, must be allowed to lapse between the events of the first and second parts of the romance.
In response to many enquiries he may add that the name Ayesha, which since the days of the prophet Mahomet, who had a wife so called, and perhaps before them, has been common in the East, should be pronounced Assha.