Ludwig Horace Holly, a Cambridge professor, travels to Africa with his adopted son Leo to investigate the death of Kallicrates, Leo’s ancestor, who was murdered by an unknown woman centuries before.
They encounter the Amahagger, a fierce tribe of cannibals who live in the caves of Kôr, a huge burial ground of an ancient civilisation decimated by plague.The tribe are ruled over by She-who-must-be-obeyed [Ayesha], a mysterious and ruthless Queen who has the secret of eternal life while still possessing the beauty and radiance of a young woman. She has lived, virtually alone, for 2,000 years awaiting the return of her lover Kallicrates, whom she killed in a fit of jealous rage. When Ayesha sees Leo she believes him to be the reincarnation of the man who spurned her. A bewitching temptress, naively flirtatious but capable of horrific acts of malevolence, she will not be thwarted a second time. They will both bathe in the Eternal Flame before their marriage!
Not without sudden flashes of humour She is an intriguing story set in the "Dark Continent" with a mix of sex and the supernatural which thrilled the Victorians and still - one hundred years later - continues to enthrall.