Caprona (island)

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Original map of Caprona, drawn by Burroughs (1917)
The Land That Time Forgot location
Creator Edgar Rice Burroughs
Genre Lost World
Type Fictional island
Notable characters Bowen J. Tyler, Lys La Rue

Caprona (also known as Caspak) is a fictitious island in the literary universe of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Caspak trilogy, including The Land That Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot, and Out of Time's Abyss.[1]

The island[edit]

In the first novel, Caprona is described as a land mass near Antarctica, first reported by the (fictitious) Italian explorer Caproni in 1721, the location of which was subsequently lost. The island is ringed by high cliffs, making it inaccessible to all but the most intrepid explorers. (The people who first explore the island access it by taking a submarine through an underground tunnel.)[2] It has a tropical river teeming with primitive creatures extinct elsewhere and a thermal inland sea, essentially a huge crater lake, whose heat sustains Caprona’s tropical climate.

Burroughs postulates a unique biological system for his lost world, in which the slow progress of evolution in the world outside is recapitulated as a matter of individual metamorphosis. This system is only hinted at in The Land That Time Forgot; presented as a mystery whose explication is gradually worked out over the course of the next two novels, it forms a thematic element serving to unite three otherwise rather loosely linked stories. Dinosaurs, mammals, and primitave humans coexist on the island.[3]

The island is also called Caspak by its native humanoid inhabitants – thus the name of the trilogy.[4]

Caprona is referenced in Alan Moore's almanac The World of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and in Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi's 1980 tome, The Dictionary of Imaginary Places.


Caprona is featured in several films, including 1975 and 1977 Amicus Productions' adaptations of The Land That Time Forgot and The People That Time Forgot, and in the 2009 Asylum adaptation of The Land That Time Forgot, although the Asylum version re-imagines the island as existing within the Bermuda Triangle.


  1. ^ "THE CASPAK NOVELS". Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Gary Westfahl (2005). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes ..., Volume 2. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 476. 
  3. ^ Den Valdron. "THE MYSTERY OF CAPRONA". ERBzine. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  4. ^ David Bruce Bozarth. "CASPAK GLOSSARY". Retrieved 25 July 2014. 

External links[edit]