Ayesha, She Who Must Be Obeyed

I was a boy when I saw the Hammer Studies film adaptation of She. It seemed to me one of those Hammer movies that focused more on exhibiting large breasts than telling a story. In this Ursula Andress’ breasts as she portrayed Ayesha.

By the time that I learned She was originally an H. Rider Haggard novel I felt no interest in reading it. I can’t stand lost race fiction. The square-shouldered, manly embodiment of colonialism and imperialism always sets the poor ignorant natives aright.

Haggard’s Ayesha novels have been reprinted many, many times. Below is a gallery of Ayesha cover illustrations.


Ayesha-Ancient-Femdom-Goddess Ayesha-Divine-Woman Ayesha-Dominatrix Ayesha-Femdom-Goddess Ayesha-Femdom-Mistress Ayesha-Goddess Ayesha-H-Rider-Haggard Ayesha-Mistress Ayesha-She Ayesha-She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed Ayesha-She-Who-Must-Be-Worshiped Ayesha-Superior-Woman Ayesha-Woman-Worship

Originally posted 2012-08-26 07:20:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

20 comments to Ayesha, She Who Must Be Obeyed

  • Throne

    Nice choices. We can see why she was known as ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’.

  • Many tried to visualize/portray Haggard’s immortal. Many (if not all) failed, hindered by their rather pedestrian fantasies regarding powerful and dominant women, to create an image which would fit his description of this unique woman.

    The movie with Ursula Andress is a disaster, and the sequel is even worse. Common stuff when the needy, the dull, and the greedy, want to ride on other people’s wave.

    • Lobojack

      Here you go again with your incurable superiority complex !

    • Lobojack

      At least you cannot criticize Ursula’s looks. She was gorgeous. Her mother sold onions at themarket in Berne, Switzerland, my homeland. But luckily Ursula’s career took another course. Even now she remains a beautiful lady. Real beauty is eternal.

      • Agreed. She was the only reason to watch the movie. I’ve seen more variations of the She movie poster featuring her than for any other movie.

        • Lobojack

          I must say that Ursula’s looks survived the passing of time much better than Brigitte Bardot’s. But Brigitte has now other interests, which I share: Politics and Protection of Animals. Also protection of Nature and Landscapes, with her friend Franz Weber, who lives in Switzerland, a friend of mine.

  • Ray

    I could refuse her nothing either by choice or desire!

  • Throne

    Well said, Ray.

  • Lobojack

    Now I understand why this “Ayesha Fonseca” chose her pseudo… Alas, comparison is no reason !

  • Lobojack

    By the way, in my opinion, Pierre Benoit’s “L’Atlandide” is more thrilling than Haggard’s Ayesha. Both were published in the same period. “L’Atlantide” has been translated in English as “Queen of Atlantis”. It also inspired a movie, which turned into a flop. Anyway I have always been fascinated by Antinea and yearned to be her subject. See Google and Wikipedia for more details and pics.

    • I’ve never read Haggard. The whole white European among the savages is distasteful. I’ve only seen the movie, which bored me.

      I remember discovering L’Atlandide and posting some images but can’t recall where.

  • Lobojack

    You can find several pics in Google. This Antinea was my teenager’s dream and she made me discover femdom. I have read and reread this book several times, I was fascinated. I have the French original version, not the English one.

  • Bibliophile

    The top “Vengeance Of She” cover is by Gino D’Achille.

  • Interesting! I never knew much about L’Atlandide, but I’m going to have to check out this book sometime.

    The fourth cover from the top, which looks like it’s from the 70s, possibly used Faye Dunaway’s face as the model for Ayesha. I have the actress on my mind today since I saw her last night again on TCM in Network (1976). After 38 years, I only found it a so-so movie, as I did decades ago, but Dunaway certainly played a vivid character with a real take-no-prisoners dominant energy.

    • Lobojack

      The book is much older than that. Just search in Google about Pierre Benoit. The movie I referred to is a French movie. Nothing to do with Hollywood.

  • Lobojack

    Dear Irv
    L’Atlantide had a strong influence on my attitude towards females- I have read this book several times. Much to my pleasure I have discovered a filmed version of L’Atlantide on YouTube. Fairly well done, although it does not leave as much room for imagination as the book version. But the same holds true for Orwell’s “1984”. Imagination is more vivid than pictures. If you cannot find the Atlantide movie, just let me know, I can help you.

    • Thanks, Lobojack, I will look for the movie! I know there is a 1960s version called “Journey Under the Desert” which I did see some years ago without knowing about the source novel; there is a small clip on YouTube. It starred Haya Hayareet (of Ben-Hur fame) in fabulous costumes, and Jean-Louis Trintignant.

      I did find the book online, it’s in the public domain and downloadable. I look forward to reading it as soon as I get a chance!

      • Bibliophile

        There was also a 1949 Hollywood version, Siren Of Atlantis, starring Maria Montez as Queen Antinea. Trailer here:

        Rider Haggard’s She was first published in 1886, Benoit’s L’Atlantide in 1919. When a critic called the latter a rip-off of the former, Benoit sued for libel. He lost.

      • Lobojack

        I read it in French, my mother tongue. I do not know whether there has been any translation. Anyway after you have read this bokk, which is stronger than the movie, you’ll probably be yearning to emigrate and look for her. Although I sometimes wonder what special feature or talent made her so attractive…

      • Lobojack

        I have done some research on YouTube and managed to succeed, although it was not easy. One can view the full movie, lasting 2’42’43 under:
        “L’Atlantide” Jacques Feyder (1921)
        A mute sepia film with musical background.

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