Caves in Fiction

Theodore Rousseau (*1831-✝1833) - The Cave in a Cliff near Granville. 1831-1833, 30.8 cm x 42.55 cm, oil on paper, mounted on canvas.
Die Veteranische Höhle, engraving. Public Domain.

A literature section on a website dedicated to caves and subterranea? Seems strange, but a close look on famous books reveals many relations to the underground. Caves and mines always affected man, and so many books use caves as an important scene of the story.

The first times caves were used this way was in mythology. In Greek mythology Zeus grew up in a cave. Later caves were the entrance to Hades, the realm of death. Then it was a place for devils and demons.

From the renaissance on, caves were again explored and people started to see them as a part of nature which could be explored. Literature changed too. Caves became he main topic of novels, e.g. Jules Verne (1864): Journey into the Interior of the Earth. Or they became the topic of scientific and touristic descriptions.

Here we have collected a variety of historical works related to caves. In contrast to the ExplainCaves Bibliography however, these are not contemporary works that one might be lucky enough to purchase on Amazon or eBay. Rather, older works are represented here, which at most can be found in special libraries. Very few are still in print today. However, all have in common that the copyright has already expired, so the works are in the public domain. So we have tried to provide at least the relevant excerpts, if possible the whole works. So you can find here one or the other work as ePub, for works with many images possibly also as pdf.