The Doings of Raffles Haw, The Maracot Deep by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Автор: andrey4444. Опубликовано в Артур Конан Дойль

In “The Doings of Raffles Haw” chemist Haw discovered that under the influence of an electric current of heavy metals become lighter. In this way he began to produce gold and soon became the richest man in the world. He generously shares the money with almost all others, but with them at the same time begin to happen strange metamorphosis...

A mysterious millionaire, Raffles Haw, comes to reside in Tamfield in Staffordshire. Even before he arrives, people start gossiping about him. As his house is being constructed, people wonder at the number of workers, their speed, and the complete disregard for the amount of money spent. When Haw arrives, he acquaints himself with the McIntyre family, which consists of Robert, his sister Laura, and their father. McIntyre senior had been a prosperous gun merchant, but has gone bankrupt and lost his sanity. Laura is engaged to Hector, the son of the vicar, Mr. Spurling. Hector is a sailor who is summoned for Naval duty at the beginning of the novel.

Disregarding McIntyre senior as a greedy beggar, Haw sets about to alleviate the misery of the people of Tamfield through the agency of the McIntyre siblings and Mr. Spurling. He saves many families and businesses with his timely financial succour. He has limitless funds, due to having discovered a process to turn lead into gold.

With the passage of time, he becomes disillusioned because his philanthropic activities—though they improve the situations of the recipients—don't improve the recipients themselves. Instead of becoming better citizens, most become parasites reliant upon alms from the millionaire. Despondent, he seeks the counsel of his fiancee, Laura McIntyre, the one person he supposes to be true to him. Unbeknownst to him, Laura has accepted his proposal of marriage without ending her previous engagement to Hector Spurling. As Raffles and Laura are talking, Hector enters the room, his service having ended earlier than expected. When Raffles discovers Laura and Hector are still engaged, he is heartbroken. The fallen millionaire locks himself in his laboratory, destroys his equipment and his immense fortune, and later is found dead. The process that he used to build his fortune is unrecoverable.

The Maracot Deep” is a short 1929 novel by Arthur Conan Doyle about the discovery of a sunken city of Atlantis by a team of explorers led by Professor Maracot. He is accompanied by Cyrus Headley, a young research zoologist and Bill Scanlan, an expert mechanic working with an iron works in Philadelphia who is in charge of the construction of the submersible which the team takes to the bottom of the Atlantic.

The novel first appeared in 1928 as a serial in The Saturday Evening Post. It also appeared as a serial in The Strand Magazine from October 1927 to February 1928. In 1929 it was followed by a sequel, The Lord of the Dark Face, beginning with the April issue of The Strand. The same year the novel was published in The Maracot Deep and Other Stories from John Murray in London, and was released in the U.S. by Doubleday Books of New York.
The novel revolves around the legend of Atlantis, mentioned as an ancient city or continent which was drowned by the sea due to divine intervention. The novel is narrated by Headley who first writes a letter to his friend Sir John Talbot. On his subsequent rescue, he completes his story giving details on his escape and how they fought off possibly the greatest danger to humanity, the Devil himself.

The novel begins with preparations for the dive, off the coast of Africa. Prof. Maracot claims to have located the deepest trench in the Atlantic and is vehement that he shall go down in the specially prepared submersible actually a bathysphere along with Headley and Scanlan. On reaching the edge of the trench, a description of the undersea world is presented. The team comes face to face with a giant crustacean who cuts off their line and hurls them down into the trench. Down in the trench, the team is rescued by the Atlanteans who are the last survivors of the land that was Atlantis.

Although the description of Atlantis may not sound quite futuristic and may seem fantastic, the fact that the novel was written in 1929 should be taken into account. One device in particular is often made use of. This is a thought projector which visualizes the thoughts of a person for others to see. This helps the team and the Atlanteans to communicate.

Descriptions of work habits, culture and various sea creatures are provided. The Atlanteans forage for their food from the sea bed and their slaves, Greeks who are the descendants of the original slaves of the kingdom of Atlantis work in undersea mines. This is made possible thanks to an exceptionally strong and light transparent material which is fashioned into helmets to enable people to work underwater.

The team eventually uses the levity of these spheres to escape to the surface. Headley elopes with the daughter of Manda, leader of the Atlanteans.

In the later part of the novel, Headley describes the encounter with the Lord of the Dark Face, a supernatural being who led the Atlanteans to their doom and was the cause of untold miseries to humanity ever since. This being is likened to the Phoenician god Baal who was demonized by later religions and cultures. The being is defeated by Prof. Maracot who becomes possessed by the spirit of Warda, the man who managed to convince a handful of Atlanteans to prepare for the worst and thus built an Ark which saved them from the cataclysm which destroyed their land.

Table of Contents:
THE DOINGS OF RAFFLES HAW
THE MARACOT DEEP

 

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