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4.4 out of 5 stars13
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 24 January 2006
I am a dedicated amateur Egyptologist who has attended many night-school courses and who has been lucky enough to visit Egypt several times.
Having watched the BBC TV series “Egypt” I was keen to read this book. I was not disappointed. There are many excellent books about Egyptology and several excellent books about the discovery of Ancient Egypt, but this is the only one I have found which combines the two.
I was very pleased that it included a wider range of Egyptologists than the television series (Flinders Petrie, for example, is included in the book, which makes up for him not being in the television series) and that it excluded some of the more speculative TV moments (like the “romance” between Howard Carter and Lady Evelyn!).
This book is well-written and informative. I found a good deal of information which was new to me, but it would also be an excellent introduction to the subject for a newcomer.
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on 12 January 2006
I watched the recent BBC television series ‘Egypt’ with great pleasure – despite a few minor quibbles I thought it was both serious in intent and extremely entertaining. This book of the series by Joyce Tyldesley is even better. Rather than concentrating on only three individuals (Carter, Belzoni and Champollion) as the TV series did, Dr Tyldesley gives a much broader, fuller and more balanced account of the history of Egyptology from its early beginnings up to the present day.
Carter, Belzoni and Champollion are given the recognition they deserve, but so are other giants of the subject such as Lepsius and Petrie, and the discoveries of current Egyptologists (of whom the best known is perhaps Dr Zahi Hawass) are also set in their historical context.
I found this overview of the history of archaeological activity in Egypt fascinating, useful and well-written. There are plenty of books describing the history of Egypt, but this is the first one I have come across which gives such a succinct account of the subject itself. It deserves to become a classic of Egyptological writing.
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on 17 January 2006
A fascinating insight into Egypt's history and archaeology. I was given this book as a christmas present and having watched the BBC series I was keen to learn more.
The book is divided into sections each covering a different aspect of Ancient Egypt's 'rediscovery' - The Explorers, The Archaeologists and so on. The narrative, which is engaging from the outset, generally follows a linear time pattern, with some crossover (e.g. with Belzoni and Champollion), and proceeds to the present day.
This book is very well written and it was hard to stop reading at times. There are three sections of photographs dispersed throughout and this brings me to my only criticism - there could have been more photographs towards the end as some of the descriptions do require more than imagination.
All in all an engrossing read - not to be missed by anyone.
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on 14 February 2009
I bought this after a recent trip to Luxor - our second trip to Egypt in as many years - having immediately re-run the DVD of the Egypt series as soon as we returned.
While in Luxor I had read Joyce Tildsley's equally fascinating book about the "female pharaoh" Hatshepsut, which was thoroughly enjoyable, particularly after a visit to her temple on the west bank.
This "book of the series" was just as readable, and was helpful in filling in the gaps that are inevitable in a televised docu-drama. Tildsley makes the whole Egyptian experience come alive, with a written style that is light and yet sufficiently academic to provide a thorough grounding in the subject and its history.
I would recommend this as a read for anyone contemplating visiting, or who has recently visited, Egypt and would like to know more about the wonders of the past - ancient and modern - of that country. It would also be useful for those who may have seen the DVD series - those programmes and the haunting music echo in my mind even as I write this review!
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on 13 September 2011
Having just spent two weeks in Egypt visiting many of the sites mentioned in this book i found it an invaluable guide to the history of men who brought the wonders of this ancient land to the wider world. Excellent stuff!
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on 21 December 2005
Having recently started reading books about different aspects of history, this was a book that caught my eye.
I wasn't dissapointed either, to give you an overview of Egypt, and an idea of what it was like, then I think this is a very good starting place, it's well written and a fairly easy read for a complete Egyption novice like myself.
It has inspired me to find books that go into more detail, about some of the pioneers of Eygptology.
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on 29 May 2013
This book proved to be much more than I expected of it. It is both written and structured keeping the reader interested in the Egyptian history while the new developments are introduced in good order on timeline running through the book. It would had been easy to write a boring book on this subject, on the contrary it looks like Tyldesley really worked on the text to excellent book so that the facts don't overwhelm the plot and on the other hand most important subjects get discussed through the milleniums.

Highly recommend to anyone interested in Egyptian history!
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on 24 January 2010
We went to Egypt for the first time a few weeks before Christmas. It was a quite wonderful time for us and we are eager to return. The holiday whetted our appetite for more knowledge of Egypt and my wife expressed a wish to have a book which concentrated on the stories of the excavations and discoveries over the last two hundred years or so.

A quick search on Amazon revealed Joyce Tyldesley's excellent book. It is highly readable, difficult to put down and strongly recommended to those with an interest in the subject. She uses the words of others judiciously, notably quoting Howard Carter's memorable description of the opening of Tutankhamen's tomb. And, on the same subject, she coolly destroys the myth of the curse.

I am not the fastest of readers and yet this was one book I completed in double-quick time.

British men are notoriously tardy when it comes to buying presents. I ordered the book late on December 22nd, safe in the knowledge that it would arrive on the morning of Christmas Eve. Which it did. Amazon truly is the friend of all us males!

I have given Dr Tyldesley's book four stars. That it didn't get five is no fault of hers - the plates started coming adrift at the first reading.
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on 7 January 2013
A great introduction to Egyptology - I read it prior to visiting Egypt and it gave a great foundation to the wealth of knowledge inherent in such a trip.
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on 26 February 2016
Not as much info as I would have liked but gives a rough idea about who these guys were and what they achieved. Easy read.
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