Lost Horizon Companion

A Guide to the James Hilton Novel and Its Characters, Critical Reception, Film Adaptations and Place in Popular Culture


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About the Book

This comprehensive reference guide introduces James Hilton’s novel Lost Horizon for contemporary students and general readers. The opening section provides a summary of Hilton’s life and describes his circumstances at the time of writing the novel. This is followed with a chapter-by-chapter summary of the plot, a glossary of words and phrases which may be helpful to twenty-first century readers, and an alphabetically arranged guide to the novel’s characters. In addition, the author examines the initial critical reception of the book, its publishing history, and the success of its major film adaptations in separate chapters. Several appendices provide recommended questions for discussion and Hilton’s original preface to Lost Horizon.

About the Author(s)

John R. Hammond is a research fellow at Nottingham Trent University in England. He is the secretary of the James Hilton Society and the president of the H.G. Wells Society.

Bibliographic Details

John R. Hammond
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 211
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, appendices, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3238-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

1. The Author      5

2. Content      41

3. Glossary      51

4. Key to the Characters      57

5. Reception      65

6. Texts      73

7. Contexts      83

8. Narrative Art      95

9. Ideas      121

10. Film Versions and Other Adaptations      137

11. Lost Horizon and the Modern World      155

Appendix 1: Questions for Discussion      179

Appendix 2: Hilton’s Preface to Lost Horizon      183

Appendix 3: The James Hilton Circle      185

Appendix 4: A Lost Horizon Chronology      191

Chapter Notes      193

Bibliography of Secondary Works      197

Bibliography of Hilton’s Works      201

Index      203

Book Reviews & Awards

“excellent…extensive”—The James Hilton Newsletter.