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The Lost Continent: The Story of Atlantis
C.J. Cutcliffe Hyne
Univ. of Nebraska Press, 257 pages

The Lost Continent: The Story of Atlantis
C.J. Cutcliffe Hyne
Born on the 11th of May 1865, in Bibury, Gloucestershire, but raised in Yorkshire, Charles John Cutcliffe Wright Hyne attended Cambridge University, where he received both a Bachelor's and Master's degree. Best remembered today for his The Lost Continent, he was also extremely popular at one time for his fanciful tales of Captain Kettle, a dashing Raffles of the Sea. Besides these he wrote historical novels, travelogues, political commentary and an autobiography, totalling roughly fifty novels and a large number of short stories. Hyne died on 10 March 1944, at the age of seventy-eight.


  • Adventures of Captain Kettle: 1
  • The Escape Agents: 1
  • The Lost Continent: 1, 2, 3
  • Various: 1
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Georges T. Dodds

Since its first serialization in Pearson's Magazine (July-Dec 1899) and it's publication in book form the following year (London: Hutchison, New York: Harpers) The Lost Continent has remained very popular. While Elizabeth Birkmaier's fictional Poseidon's Paradise (Clemens Publ. Co, 1892) and Ignatius Donnelly's "factual" Atlantis. The Antediluvian World (1882) precede C.J. Cutcliffe Hyne's work, it is the Hyne book which remains the best remembered today. Reprinted in abridged form in Famous Fantastic Mysteries (Dec. 1944), it saw no less than three editions in the 70s:

New York: Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, February 1972 (also published in England by Pan)
Philadelphia: Oswald Train, 1974
Secaucus, NJ: Castle Books, 1979, In: Science Fiction by the Rivals of H.G. Wells, p. 189-328. [The prefatory material preceding Chap. 1, "My Recall," differs from the book version.].
The Lost Continent: The Story of Atlantis And now, again, it has been reprinted in the Bison Frontiers of Imagination collection. The Lost Continent is to Atlantis novels what Donnelly's Atlantis. The Antediluvian World is to Atlantis "science" -- a classic. L. Sprague de Camp in his Lost Continents: The Atlantis Theme in History, Science, and Literature (1970), praised it highly, finding one of its few faults in the anachronism of some saurian monsters.

Hyne takes us back to the primæval Yucatan peninsula, where Deucalion, who has honestly, justly and steadfastly governed over the Yucatan colony, is now recalled to Atlantis. There trouble brews, grim poverty, a falling away from ancient traditions, a usurper-empress, Phorenice, reigning with an iron fist. When she buries alive Naia, Deucalion's betrothed, he flees to the wilderness. Years later, he joins an army of revolt, but when the religious leaders realize that Phorenice is unvanquishable by force, they must destroy the entire continent, leaving Deucalion and Naia as sole survivors.

The Lost Continent: The Story of Atlantis So why has The Lost Continent: The Story of Atlantis remained so popular? Well mostly because it's -- as one would say in Brit-speak -- a ripping good yarn. A seductive oh-so-nasty empress and a hero who's as straight an arrow as they come, throw in great battles, escapes, sorcery and earth-shattering cataclysms and voilà! Admittedly the novel does reflect to some extent the societal stratification of 1900 Britain, but Gary Hoppenstand puts all of this in perspective in his excellent afterword, which also gives some good insights into Hyne himself. Still, after a century or so, The Lost Continent remains an eminently readable and entertaining novel, nothing too profound, just a good lost race novel done the way it should be. If I had one criticism, it is that none of the original illustrations, either from Pearson's Magazine, or the first book edition are given. In that sense, it is much more pleasant to immerse oneself completely in the feel of the era by reading the novel as it first appeared in Pearson's Magazine and is reproduced in Science Fiction by the Rivals of H.G. Wells (see above). If authors like H. Rider Haggard, Frank Aubrey and Thomas Janvier mean something to you, this is a nice new edition of a classic lost race title which will fit in very well with the above. If you're a dedicated avant-garde cyber-punk fanatic, well... read it anyways, you might even learn that fantasy literature did indeed exist before the digital age... now how mind-expanding would that be?

Copyright © 2003 by Georges T. Dodds

Georges Dodds is a research scientist in vegetable crop physiology, who for close to 25 years has read and collected close to 2000 titles of predominantly pre-1950 science-fiction and fantasy, both in English and French. He writes columns on early imaginative literature for WARP, the newsletter/fanzine of the Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association and maintains a site reflecting his tastes in imaginative literature.

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