The Lost World (Conan Doyle novel)

The Lost World (original: The Lost World) is a 1912 published novel by British writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the center of the narrative to explore a mysterious South American plateau in the jungle stands (see tepui ), which is supposed to be inhabited by protozoa.

This first episode of the Challenger Stories is one of the earlier science fiction novels in the English language, but at the same time also takes elements of the adventure novel on. The novel is based in part on careful scientific and historical research. Although he gained as an adventure classics some celebrity, but remained - especially in Germany - behind the well-known Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan Doyle's spring back. Common alternatives are German title The Lost World or The pugnacious professor.

Action at a glance

The young, aspiring journalist Edward Dunn Malone seeks an opportunity to establish itself as a man and so take his great love for themselves. His chief editor sends him to the unbridled, eccentric Biology Professor Challenger (German: challenger ), ensure its theses on the evolution in the professional world sensation: According to him, some species of prehistoric times were not extinct, but existed, contrary to the general assumption among the particular conditions of a remote plateau in South America on. Malone earns the trust of the professor, who then his previous evidence to him - mainly skeletal remains and the estate of American travelers Maple White - (Chapter 1-5).

As the conflict over Challengers theses at a public scholarly debate escalates, and the decision is taken, to review the matter using an expedition of suitable men, the ambitious reporter seizes the opportunity and announces itself, in addition to the athletic adventurer Lord John Roxton, as voluntary participants. He is their exclusive rapporteur; scientific value is Challengers opponent Summerlee sent (Chapter 6).

The expedition then travels through several small intermediate stations to Pará, where more locals - taking into service and be prepared for their descent into the unknown ' - which are always considered as a separate, subordinate group. Awaits you there to view more detail - to everyone's surprise, however, Professor Challenger appear personally, and declared their intention to take the lead in this crucial part of the company itself ( Chapter 7).

The group then takes the perilous and arduous journey to the place of the plateau to be, with Challengers assertions are increasingly confirmation. By the discoverer exploit the natural site conditions sent, they finally find a way to be gone up with long ( chapters 8 and 9 ).

At its actual target them, however, because of a betrayal, cut off abruptly the way back, so that the group suddenly, its staff, just on our looks without exposure to the unknown, untamed nature and its primeval inhabitants: the later classic situation of a Jungle film is created (Chapter 9).

The expedition begins unswervingly to camp and explore the plateau from there systematically. Scientists do encounter many new questions and discoveries, the convoy as a whole unit variously in clashes with protozoa - including, for example, or large Iguanodon dinosaur - and other hazards that are managed together. In contrast to later adaptations but the novel focuses typically not extreme tension and disasters ( Chapter 9-11).

Through an unexpected turn of events, she finally got to, ape-men ' who are apparently migrated some time ago on the plateau. Grasp the discoverer as intruders in their territory, which would have to be eliminated. However, they manage to also use their firearms to escape execution. Shortly before Malone, however, has also today people found in it alone (Chapter 12) on the plateau, now engaged on their side, the expedition to the armed conflict between the ' ape-men ' and their descendants. Due to the superior military technology brought decide the latter, the struggle for existence ' final itself (Chapter 13-14).

Recently the group have equal several possibilities for the difficult problem of her coming back so that they can be accompanied by a requested relief expedition successfully return home, ( Chapter 15).

Through the bundled statements of the members of the expedition and a spectacular demonstration finally manages to prove the correctness of Challengers hypotheses in the world of the novel clearly; the plateau is the ( civilized ) development by further explorers open and great material profit opportunities are emerging. Alone Malones personal victory remains, because his mistress - has since married an accountant - contrary to the stereotypical expectations of the hero as the reader. In addition, all but essential objectives are achieved and the superiority of the conquerors proved again.

Novel in the context

The novel The Lost World, which is one of the earlier science fiction novels in the English language, is part of a trilogy about the scholarly character of Professor Challenger. As already A. Conan Doyle's previous stories about Sherlock Holmes, he also gave the impression of an authentic ( travel ) report and attracted great public interest. Particular importance he obtained - not necessarily in the sense of the author - a so-called boy 's book, a special educational oriented genre that should support boys in their development along the prevailing role models.

In this context, is the extremely optimistic science image of the novel, his ideal of the male explorer and his idea of civilization: Responsible, daring researchers develop through accurate, unbiased research unimagined new worlds and come here at any time after their claim to objectivity. They can assert themselves and contribute their individual strengths for the benefit of a good thing - the successful conquest of the new country is a desirable goal of the expedition.

The novel incorporates many actual scientific findings and theories of his time. However, his idea of evolution, which indeed constitutes one of the starting points of the action is still strong teleological and sets, as well as his civilization notion that "modern man " with Anglo- Western culture as an ideal advance.

A likely source of inspiration in the field of literature is Luis Sénarens ' novel series about the hero Frank Reade. In addition, it is known that einbezog A. Conan Doyle for this novel targeted researched and authentic travel reports of his time. In this context, prehistoric footprints finds in Sussex, as well as the geological formation around Mount Roraima as further starting points for historical reality offer.

Quite apart from these, some problematic, historical references still offers the action- rich novel, the fascination to explore in fantasy foreign countries to meet protozoa and earn achievements. In this sense, he was also a source of inspiration of many film adaptations, which, however, often distantly located from the template and moved especially the confrontation with dinosaurs at the center. Unlike the other Professor Challenger novels became The Lost World as well as in Germany some importance.

German versions

  • The Lost World. Adventure novel. Translated by Karl target. A. Scherl, Berlin 1926
  • The Lost World. Adventure novel. T: N.N. ( gek Edition) The New Berlin 1956/1961
  • The pugnacious professor. Collected Works in separate editions, Volume 6 German by Werner Engel. Blüchert, Hamburg 1962 this transmission in 1969 under the title The Lost World. A classic utopian novel in Heyne, München
  • And 1978 under the title The Lost World. An adventurous journey to the land of dinosaurs in the Arena -Verlag, Würzburg
  • And 2000 under the title The Lost World as Arena Paperback, Würzburg, ISBN 3-401-00262-7 [ abridged German version with relevant comments epilogue ]

Other surface finishings

Film and Television

The book was first made ​​into a film in 1925. The dinosaur with the stop motion technique were brought to life. The film deviates at several points of the novel, for example, the Expedition has added a female companion.

1960 Irwin Allen turned another movie called The Lost World, which, however, differed greatly from the original, and contained only a few basic features of it.

In 1992, a new film version of the classic book by John Rhys -Davies and David Warner, however, in which the plateau is located in Africa held in South America. The film also attracted a sequel called Return to the Lost World with it.

As of 1998, there was another film adaptation of the book under the title Dinosaurs - The Lost World. However one also placed here, the " Lost World ", this time in Mongolia.

The novel was loosely as a template of the fantasy series The Lost World, which ran from 1999 to 2002. Although it occurred, the original main characters on, but in addition two female supporting roles. Structure and action are substantially changed: Except dinosaurs also occur Warlocks, Vampires, Lizardmen and even giant insects in the series on the plan.

In 2000, the story of Stuart Orme was filmed relatively original factory in partnership with the BBC. The film starred Bob Hoskins as Professor Challenger, Professor Summerlee as James Fox, Tom Ward as Lord Roxton and Matthew Rhys as Edward Malone. Were added to the Characters Reverend Theo Kerr ( Peter Falk ), a fundamentalist cleric, and Agnes Clooney ( Elaine Cassidy ) as his niece.

However, to what extent one of the films so far submitted the novel is completely just, continues to be debated.

  • Jurassic Attack, USA, 2013 Director: Anthony Fankhauser


  • The Lost World, Ripper Records in 2005, directing and editing: Frank Gustavus


  • The Lost World, AUDIO BOOK Verlag 2008, ISBN 978-3-89964-311-4, Unabridged reading. 6 CDs, Hubertus Gertzen (Speaker)