Let's start this one off by firstly me thanking Pen & Sword for sending me these beautiful books and helping to fuel my addiction for ancient history and secondly by appreciating just how amazing Pen & Sword are at producing such great history books!
If you love to learn about history (and I mean any kind! There is literally something for everyone) then Pen and Sword should be your go to! The books are not only aesthetically pleasing but also packed fulled of knowledge! So much so that it actually takes me forever to finish them because I'm constantly taking notes and re-reading sections!
I wanted to write a blog post for all three of these books together, one because I feel like it will be a little less overwhelming than having three longer posts to read and also because they're all based around Ancient Egypt so it felt right to have them all together and in shorter simpler reviews!
Book One: How to Survive in Ancient Egypt
Charlotte Booth actually wrote one of my other favourites In Bed with the Ancient Egyptians so I was really excited to pick up this one and let me tell you, it is a fun read! She is a qualified Egyptologist so she really knows her stuff! I was super excited to jump back in time to Ancient Egypt and learn about life, we have to (as the reader and main character of this book) find a job, a house, provide for ourselves....this is was honestly my dream as someone who would love to actually travel back in time and experience life in Egypt.
We learn about so many things from the pyramids to medicine and all of it is so fun because the author teaches us by telling us what we would be doing in certain situations! You'll know exactly what to do if you eat a bit of dodgy poultry!! You will giggle from the authors wittyness and you really do just flow right through the book because the author makes learning fun. The chapters were the perfect length and the writing was enjoyable! I definitely recommend this one to Ancient Egypt lovers!
Book Two: Egyptomaniacs
Why do we love Ancient Egypt? This book does exactly what the sub title says, it teaches us how we became obsessed with Ancient Egypt! We start by jumping through Ancient Greek interpretations of Egypt, going over texts, plays, all of the things that made Egypt exotic. We learn of how Ancient Egypt actually influenced a lot of other cultures, how many had so much interest in the Egyptians.
We see how the press were involved in the publics lapping up of the curse of the Pharoah's tomb. How Hollywood shaped our understanding of Egypt. There are a lot of different directions that this book goes in to really show us how over the years we have all been obsessed with learning more about the Egyptians, how myths have been deflated and museums saw a surge in artefacts in the 19th century.
Honestly this book covers a lot! I really enjoyed that while the book was obviously all about Ancient Egypt, it took us through so many different things and time periods that actually there wasn't a moment when I was reading this book where I though god this is repetitive! I think any Egypt lover would love this book because we really get a glimpse into why for so many years so many of us have been fascinated with Egypt!
Book Three: The Curse of the Pharaoh's Tomb
This one I didn't enjoy as much as the other two. The book contains a collection of curses surrounding Egyptian artefacts, mysterious deaths after the opening of Tutankhamun, all of which have a sort of conspiratorial feel to them.
The story's take someone story of some kind of incident or calamity that happened to them after coming into contact with whatever artefact is being mentioned. I found that even though I still enjoyed reading this book, I kept wanting more evidence you know? I wanted to know if the accounts or included letters for example were actually legit or if they were just items used to further coincidences for the occurrences. This is quite evident when you think about how many tombs and artefacts have been found over the years and many have walked away with no ghost stories or calamities.
I think this book is fine for lighthearted reading, if you like Ancient Egyptian books then you will still enjoy it, but for me it was full of anecdotes, unsupported statements and sources etc. so in terms of believing the stories it's not easy to do. Unless you know you're really into believing ghost stories or conspiracy theories then I'm sure it would be a great read for you!
So there you have it! I think Pen & Sword as I've said before are great for their amazing selection of history books! You will be hard pressed not to find something you will enjoy! And let me know if you pick any of these up! Or if you have any other Ancient Egyptian reads you would recommend!!