THE BLACK VENUS: A TALE OF THE DARK CONTINENT ... Translated and Adapted from the French by George D. Cox. Philadelphia: Royal Publishing Co., n.d. . Octavo, pp. [19-20] 21-274 [complete despite gap in pagination], original pictorial white wrappers printed in red and blue. Later edition. Abridged adaptation of LA SULTANE PARISIENNE (Paris: E Dentu, 1877), LA FIEVRE DE L'INCONNU (Paris: E. Dentu, 1877), and LA VENUS NOIRE (Paris: E Dentu, 1877), a long three-part novel first translated into English by H. Mainwaring Dunstan and published in the UK in three volumes as A PARISIAN SULTANA (London: Remington & Co., 1879). In abridging the novel, George Cox not only translates passages differently but also removes a significant portion of the details depicting various tribes and their cultures, as well as Africa's geography, in order to focus on the action sequences. Adventure novel with lost race elements. "After a year of mourning, Laura de Guéran, an Englishwoman by birth and the daughter of a member of the London Geographical Society, launches an expedition to Africa in order to recover the remains of her husband who disappeared near the Sahara Desert. She is accompanied by Messieurs Delange, de Morin, and Périères, the latter two former suitors whom she selects for their specific skill sets and bravery, and Beatrice Poles, an experienced female explorer, the sole survivor of the ill-fated Alexina Tinne (Alexadrine Tineé) expedition to discover the source of the Nile. As the de Guéran caravan travels through Africa under Laura's direction with de Morin serving as her commander-in-chief, they battle Bedouins, slavers, cannibals, and elephants. When Laura learns that her husband might be alive in the mysterious kingdom of Ulindi, the expedition heads to uncharted territory in Central Africa and discovers that the Baron de Guéran is being held captive by Walinda, a warrior queen, the 'Black Venus' of the novel's title, who rules over a matriarchal society and has taken the baron as her lover. The Walindis, Walinda's tribe, are protected by an army of Amazons led by Walinda herself. The females of the tribe begin a rigorous course of training at the age of twelve that develops their strength, speed, and endurance. Their reward for successful service in the army is being allowed to marry and reproduce. The Walindis engage in a kind of primitive eugenics in which any of the Amazons' daughters who are physically deformed are mercilessly slaughtered at a young age; the queen's male sons are also smothered at birth to ensure the queen's daughter ascends to the throne. Male members of the Walindis are entrusted to governing districts, and while they do maintain an army of their own, it is vastly inferior to the queen's Amazons. Belot's depiction of Walinda is a classic portrayal of an exotic female, both beautiful and terrifying, a powerful leader and sexually aggressive predator: 'She was a Venus, a superb statue of bronze … [with] great black eyes, now soft and languishing, but energetic and cruel an instant after … [and] small, sharp teeth displaying their whiteness behind thick lips as red as blood.' A well-written, engaging read." - Boyd White. Bleiler (1978), p. 20. Not in Reginald (1979; 1992). Text paper tanned, but supple, wrappers just a bit dusty, a very good copy. (#164367).
No statement of printing.