The People That Time Forgot – Edgar Rice Burroughs (1918)
Burroughs used the same literary devices regularly, such as an introductory prologue which explained from whence the manuscript came. In the first novel of this series ‘The Land That Time Forgot’, the story was found in a bottle, washed up on the shore. This was the narrative of Bowen J Tyler, who had been able to access the interior of an island completely encircled with forbidding cliffs by driving a submarine up an underground river to the interior.
A second bottled message containing a sequel would no doubt be too implausible, so this time a friend of Tyler’s, Tom Billings, seeks to attain the island in a plane and rescue him.
His plane is attacked by pterodactyls and he is forced down into a jungle where he saves a native girl, Ajor, from a prehistoric big cat and a gang of apemen.
Billings and Ajor travel through the camps of the various evolutionary stages of men of this strange island where humans begin as protohumans at one end of the island and evolve through their lives, moving progressively along the island as they advance genetically and socially.
After several adventures, Billings and Ajor have to try and escape from an evil chieftain who has wicked designs on Ajor. However, they are rescued by Bowen and the crew of Billings’ ship who have managed to scale the cliffs. Although our heroes can now escape, Billings chooses to stay on the island with Ajor.