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Etidorhpa or the end of the earth.John Uri Lloyd.1897.365 pages.pdf EBOOK


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---->>> includes: Etidorhpa.John Uri Lloyd.1897.365 pages.pdf EBOOK


Author John Uri Lloyd

Illustrator J. Augustus Knapp

Country United States

Language English

Genre(s) Science fiction, Fantasy

Publisher privately printed

Publication date 1895

Media type Print (Hardcover)



Etidorhpa, or, the end of the earth: the strange history of a mysterious being and the account of a remarkable journey is the title of a scientific allegory or science fiction novel by John Uri Lloyd, a pharmacognocist and pharmaceutical manufacturer of Cincinnati, Ohio.[1] Etidorpha was published during 1895.

The word "Etidorhpa" is the backward spelling of the name "Aphrodite." The first editions of Etidorhpa were distributed privately; later editions of the book also feature numerous fanciful illustrations by J. Augustus Knapp. Eventually a popular success, the book had eighteen editions and was translated into seven languages.[2] Etidorhpa literary clubs were founded in the United States, and some parents named their infant daughters Etidorhpa.


The book purports to be a manuscript dictated by a strange being named I-Am-The-Man to a man named Llewyllyn Drury. Drury's adventure culminates in a trek through a cave in Kentucky into the core of the earth. Ideas presented in Etidorhpa include practical Alchemy, secret Masonic orders, the Hollow Earth theory and the concept of transcending the physical realm.

Hollow Earth

Etidorhpa belongs to a sub-genre of fiction that shares elements of science fiction, fantasy, Utopian fiction, and scientific (or pseudo-scientific) speculation.[4] Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth is the most famous book of this type, though many others can be cited. During John Uri Lloyd's generation, Bulwer Lytton's The Coming Race was popular and influential. During the next generation, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a series of hollow-earth novels.


Since Lloyd was a pharmacologist, his novel has provoked speculation that drug use contributed to its fantastic and visionary nature.[5] Substances from marihuana and opium to nightshade, henbane, jimsonweed, and psilocybin mushrooms have been suggested as possibilities[6] — though no real evidence on the matter is available.
[edit] Synopsis

The complex structure of the books begins with a Preface signed by Lloyd, which presents the frame concept, that Lloyd has discovered a thirty-year-old manuscript by Llewellyn Drury in a library. Then comes a Prologue in which Drury introduces himself.

The book's Chapter I begins the story of how Drury met the mysterious I-Am-The-Man, who reads his own manuscript account of his adventures to Drury over many sessions. The mysterious stranger, also known as The-Man-Who-Did-It, relates events that supposedly occurred another thirty years earlier, during the early part of the nineteenth century. In his account, the speaker is kidnapped by fellow members of a secret society, because he is suspected to be a threat to the society's secrecy. (This was likely based on the 1826 kidnapping of William Morgan and the start of the Anti-Masonry movement.) I-Am-The-Man is taken to a cave in Kentucky; there he is led by a cavern dweller on a long subterranean journey, which becomes an inner journey of the spirit as much as a geographical trip through underground realms.

The books blends passages on the nature of physical phenomena like gravity and volcanoes with spiritualist speculation, and adventure-story elements (like traversing a landscape of giant mushrooms). The whole ends with a summary letter from I-Am-The-Man and a conclusion from Drury. Subsequent editions of the book added various prefatory and supplementary materials.


1. ^ Michael A. Flannery, John Uri Lloyd: The Great American Eclectic, Carbondale, IL, Southern Illinois University Press, 1998.
2. ^ Neil Harris, Cultural Excursions: Marketing Appetites and Cultural Tastes in Modern America, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1990; p. 151.
3. ^ J. K. Scudder, M.D., "Etidorhpa — A Review," The Eclectic Medical Journal, Vol. 57 (1897), p. 157.
4. ^ David Standish, Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, New York, Da Capo Press, 2006.
5. ^ Marcus Boon, The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs, Harvard, MA, Harvard University Press, 2002; p. 228.
6. ^ Standish, p. 218.



If a fine statue or a stately cathedral is a poem in marble, a masterpiece of the printer's art may be called a poem in typography. Such is Etidorhpa. In its paper, composition, presswork, illustrations, and binding—it is the perfection of beauty. While there is nothing gaudy in its. outward appearance, there is throughout a display of good taste. The simplicity of its neatness, like that of a handsome woman, is its great charm. Elegance does not consist in show nor wealth in glitter; so the richest as well as the costliest garb may be rich in its very plainness. The illustrations were drawn and engraved expressly for this work, and consist of twenty-one full-page, half-tone cuts, and over thirty half-page and text cuts, besides two photogravures. The best artistic skill was employed to produce them, and the printing was carefully attended to, so as to secure the finest effect. Only enameled book paper is used; and this, with the wide margins, gilt top, trimmed edges, and clear impressions of the type, makes the pages restful to the eyes in reading or looking at them. The jacket, or cover, which protects the binding, is of heavy paper, and bears the same imprint as the book itself. Altogether, as an elegant specimen of the bookmakers’ art it is a credit to the trade. All honor to the compositors who set the type, the artists who drew and engraved the illustrations, the electrotyper who put the forms into plate, the pressman who worked off the sheets, and the binder who gathered and bound them in this volume.

p. 383

The present is an age of expectancy, of anticipation, and of prophecy; and the invention or discovery or production that occupies the attention of the busy world, as it rushes on its self-observed way, for more than the passing nine day's
B. O. Flower, Editor of The Arena, Boston.
wonder, must needs be something great indeed. Such a production has now appeared in the literary world in the form of the volume entitled "Etidorhpa, or the End of Earth;" the very title of which is so striking as to arrest the attention at once.

A most remarkable book. . . . Surpasses, in my judgment, any thing that has been written by the elder Dumas or Jules Verne, while in moral purpose it is equal to Hugo at his best. . . . It appeals to the thoughtful scientist no less than to the lover of fascinating romance.

In summing, I would say that I have found the book distinctly stimulating. It is odd, but with the oddity of force. It has passages of uncanny imagination, but they excellently evade the enormous and extravagant. It is a book that by its title and by such features
Mr. Herbert Bates, Commercial Gazette, Cincinnati.
as strike one at a hurried glance might easily in the repel. Yet it is a book that, studied carefully, calls for re-reading and deep meditation. Its theories are capable of scientific demonstration, its imaginings, while they may not be fact, are always consistent with it. The reader who lets the outside repel him errs sadly. Let him read it, and he will be as changed in his position toward it, as ready to convert others, as is the reviewer, who picked it up with foreboding and laid it down with the sense of having read great thoughts.

"The End of Earth" is not like any other book. The charm of adventure, the excitement of romance, the stimulating heat of controversy, the keen pursuit of scientific truth, the glow of moral enthusiasm, are all found in its pages. The book may be described
Dr. W. H. Venable.
as a sort of philosophical fiction, containing much exact scientific truth, many hold. theories, and much ingenious speculation on the nature and destiny of man. . . . The occult and esoteric character of the discussions adds a strange fascination to them. We can hardly classify, bye ordinary rules, a work so unusual in form and purpose, so discursive in subject-matter, so unconventional in its appeals to reason, religion and morality. . . . The direct teaching of the book, in so far as it aims to influence conduct, is always lofty and pure.

"My Dear Sir: Let me thank you most heartily for sending me the special copy of your wonderful book 'Etidorhpa,' which I shall ever value. I may say that when by chance I found it in
Letter from Sir Henry Irving, to the Author.
Cincinnati I read it with the greatest interest and pleasure, and was so struck by it that I have sent copies to several friends of mine here and at home. I hope I may have the pleasure of meeting you some day either here or in London. I remain, sincerely yours,


"20th March, 1896."

p. 384

If a fine statute or a stately cathedral is a poem in marble, a masterpiece of the printer's art may be called a poem in typography. Such is "Etidorhpa." In its paper, composition, presswork, illustrations, and
Etidorhpa as a work of art. Prof. S. W. Williams.
binding—it is the perfection of beauty. While there is nothing gaudy in its outward appearance, there is throughout a display of good taste.

The illustrations were drawn and engraved expressly for this work, and consist of twenty-one full-page, half-tone cuts, and over thirty half-page and text cuts, besides two photogravures. The best artistic skill was employed to produce them, and the printing was carefully attended to, so as to secure the finest effect.

No one could have written the chapter on the "Food of Man" but Professor Lloyd; no one else knows and thinks of these subjects in a similar way. . . . The "old man's" description of "the spirit of
Eclectic Medical Journal, Cincinnati.
stone," "the spirit of plants," and finally, "the spirit of man," is very fine, but those who hear Professor Lloyd lecture catch Lloyd's impulses throughout. The only regret one has in reading this entrancing work is, that it ends unexpectedly, for the End of Earth comes without a catastrophe. It should have been a hundred pages longer; the reader yearns for more, and closes the book wistfully.

One of the great charms of the book is the space between the lines, which only the initiated can thoroughly comprehend. Don't fail to read and
New Idea, Detroit.
re-read Etidorhpa. Be sure and read it in the light of contemporaneous literature, for without doing so, its true beauty will not appear. Aside from its subject-matter, the excellency of the workmanship displayed by the printer, and artistic beauty of the illustrations, will make Etidorhpa an ornament to any library.

This book, to use the words of the editor of the Chicago Inter-Ocean, is "the literary novelty of the year." . . . In a literary
Cincinnati Student.
sense, according to all reviewers, it abounds with "word-paintings of the highest order"—in some chapters being "terrible" in its vividness, several critics asserting that Dante's Inferno has nothing more realistic. . . .

We have read it with absorbed interest, the vividly-depicted scenes of each stage in the miraculous journey forming a theme which enthralls
The British and Colonial Druggist, London, England.
the reader till the last page is turned. Many new views of natural laws are given by the communicator, and argued between him and Drury, into which, and into the ultimate intent of Etidorhpa, we will not attempt to enter, but will leave it for each reader to peruse, and draw his own conclusions. . . . Professor Lloyd's style is quaint and polished, and perfectly clear. The printing and paper are all that can be desired, and an abundance of artistic and striking illustrations are admirably reproduced.

p. 385

Etidorhpa, the End of the Earth, is in all respects the worthiest presentation of occult teachings under the attractive guise of fiction that has yet been written. Its author, Mr. John Uri Lloyd, of Cincinnati, as a scientist and writer on pharmaceutical topics, has already
New York World.
a more than national reputation, but only his most intimate friends have been aware that he was an advanced student of occultism. His book is charmingly written, some of its passages being really eloquent; as, for instance, the apostrophe to Aphrodite—whose name is reversed to make the title of the story. It has as thrilling situations and startling phenomena as imagination has ever conceived. . .

There is no confusion between experiences and illusions, such as are common in the works of less instructed and conscientious writers treating of such matters. He know; where to draw the line and how to impress perception of it, as in the four awful nightmare chapters illustrating the curse of drink. Etidorhpa will be best appreciated by those who have "traveled East in search of light and knowledge." . . .

We are disposed to think "Etidorhpa" the most
John Clark Ridpath, LL. D.
unique, original, and suggestive new book that we have seen in this the last decade of a not unfruitful century.

It is as fascinating as the richest romance by Dumas, and mysterious and awe-inspiring as the wild flights of Verne. Hugo wrote nothing more impassioned than those terrible chapters where "The-Man-Who-Did-It" drinks liquor from the mushroom cup. There never
Times-Star, Cincinnati.
was a book like it. It falls partly in many classes, yet lies outside of all. it will interest all sorts and conditions of men and it has that in it which may make it popular as the most sensational novel of the day. Intricate plotting, marvelous mysteries, clear-cut science without empiricism, speculative reasoning, sermonizing, historical facts, and bold theorizing make up the tissue of the story, while the spirit of Etidorhpa, the spirit of love, pervades it all. . . . Happy is the scientist who can present science in a form so inviting as to charm not only the scholars of his own profession, but the laymen besides. This, Professor John Uri Lloyd has done in his Etidorhpa.

For eighteen years the writer has been seated at his desk, and all kinds of books have been passed in review, but has never before met with such a stumper as Etidorhpa. Its name is a stunner, and its title-page, head-lines, and weird, artistic pictures send you
The Inter-Ocean, Chicago.
such a ghastly welcome as to make goblins on the walls and fill the close room with spooks and mystery. The writer has only known of Professor Lloyd as a scientist and an expert in the most occult art of the pharmacist, and can scarcely conceive him in the rôle of the mystic and romancer in the region heretofore sacred to the tread of the supernatural. . The book is the literary novelty of the year, but those interested in such lines of thought will forget its novelties in a profound interest in the themes discussed.

p. 386

The work stands so entirely alone in literature, and possesses such a marvelous versatility of thought and idea, that, in describing it, we are at a loss for comparison. In its scope it comprises alchemy, chemistry,
The Chicago Medical Times.
science in general, philosophy, metaphysics, morals, biology, sociology, theosophy, materialism, and theism—the natural and supernatural. . . . It is almost impossible to describe the character of the work. It is realistic in expression, and weird beyond Hawthorne's utmost flights. It excels Bulwer-Lytton's Coming Race and Jules Verne's most extreme fancy. It equals Dante in vividness and eccentricity of plot. . . . The entire tone of the work is elevating. It encourages thought of all that is ennobling and pure. It teaches a belief and a faith in God and holy things, and shows God's supervision over all his works. It is an allegory of the life of one who desires to separate himself from the debasing influences of earth, and aspires to a pure and noble existence, as beautiful and as true to the existing conditions of human life as Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. The sorrow; the struggle with self; the physical burdens; the indescribable temptations with the presence and assistance of those who would assist in overcoming them; the dark hours, Vanity Fair, and the Beulahland, are all there.

In every respect the volume bearing the title Etidorhpa, or the End of the Earth, is a most remarkable book. Typographically, it is both unique and artistic—as near perfection in conception and execution as
Indianapolis Journal.
can be conceived. . . . The author is John Uri Lloyd, of Cincinnati, a scientific writer whose pharmaceutical treatises are widely known and highly valued. That a man whose mind and time have been engrossed with the affairs of a specialist and man of affairs could have found time to enter the field of speculation, and there display not only the most extensive knowledge of the exact natural sciences, and refute what is held to be scientific truth with bold theories and ingenious speculations on the nature and destiny of man is marvelous. . . .

The Addenda is as original as the book itself, consisting, as it does, of a list of names, some of whom are not subscribers, but to whom the author is deeply obliged, or whom he regards as very dear friends, and those of a few whom he personally admires. . . . If each of them has a copy of Etidorhpa, or the End of the Earth, he possesses a book which is not like any other book in the world.

It relates to a journey made by the old man under the guidance of a peculiar being into the interior of the earth. The incidents of this journey overshadow any thing that Verne ever wrote in his palmiest days.
Cleveland Leader.
But perhaps the most singular part of it is that they are all based on scientific grounds. Dr. Lloyd, the author of the volume, is one of the deepest students, and is well known as a profound writer on subjects pertaining to his profession, as well as one who has taken much pains in studying the occult sciences. . . . The book is a very pleasant one to read, a little redundant at times, but full of information. . . . Readers who succeed in securing it will be very lucky indeed.


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Events shape our lives, even distant and dark ones. From the time I was a wee little one, I have stopped my fear of dark places. I pick up my torch and journey alone through darkened corridors leading down into bottomless caverns of events past. I stumble upon the remnants of an intricate puzzle, which I bring back with me, and in the quiet of my dreams, are assembled before me.

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