Beautiful as they are, Egypt's ladies barely make it into the historical record. We have no firsthand accounts, and their thoughts will eternally remain a mystery...This makes Gay Robins' authoritative Women in Ancient Egypt doubly welcome. Ms. Robins, who teaches Egyptology at Emory University in Atlanta, knows her stuff. In astonishingly few pages, she covers 3,000 years of politics, economics, family, society, religion and art. She backs every statement with the hard evidence of artifacts and texts, and if she offers a theory she marks it as such. Her book stands head and shoulders above sensationalist popularizations...[It] is a book you can trust...Ms. Robins writes clearly and well...[and] provides rewarding fare. Her discussion of marriage...is lively with examples and rich in detail. -- Elizabeth J. Sherman Washington Times This book relies on artistic, archaeological, and written evidence to reconstruct the private and public lives of women in Egypt from approximately 3000 to 300 BCE...Robins analyzes particularly skillfully the challenges and problems inherent in her study, including the familiar problem of trying to reconstruct women's lives when scholars have maintained a persistent silence about them; evidence that may be fragmentary or derived from biased sources; evidence that often excludes entire classes of women; and modern prejudices that encourages errors in interpreting the evidence. Choice
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Using primary sources, this book provides a review of the lives of Egyptian women between about 3000 BC and 332 AD. It deals chiefly with the elite class since the peasants left little mark, and shows how, despite restrictions, some women wielded great power in Ancient Egypt.