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Ramses II: An Illustrated Biography Hardcover – 1 Oct 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Hardcover, 1 Oct 2007
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Flammarion; 01 edition (1 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2080300431
  • ISBN-13: 978-2080300430
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 2.6 x 25.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 453,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
nice book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9b477fcc) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a663b64) out of 5 stars STILTED TEXT & POOR EDITING 8 Jan. 2009
By Diotima - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The original text was, first of all, abridged (in French, but not by the author) from her 426 page "Ramsés II la véritable histoire", and then translated into English by David Radzinowicz. Therefore it's hard to know who is really responsible for the present text which is rather banal and speckled with outworn colloquialisms.

According to the front flyleaf "this scholarly yet accessible book" is "Written in a highly entertaining, anecdotal style. Ramses II can be read like a fascinating and informative novel." So it's an historical novel is it? Hardly "scholarly" when the bibliography lists only 10 books and articles (all by Desroches Noblecourt) and there is a complete absence of footnotes. Where, for example, did the author get the idea (pages 41 and 233) that the so-called "war crown" (kheperesh) was made out of ostrich-skin?

The author tells us (pages 196-197) that: "A number of likenesses of the king have been exhumed from the palm plantation of Memphis, including ... the very famous statue of Ramses now preserved in the Museo Egiziano [sic] of Turin." Oh really. According to that museum's "Art Treasures from the Museo Egizio", the statue came from Thebes as part of the later Drovetti Collection.

There are some full page photographs but most are quite small - many quite literally no bigger than a postage stamp. All of the photos have been sourced from photographic archives. (The book measures only 10 inches by 7 inches.)

The photo of Abu Simbel (page 117) is printed in error as a mirror image. Another photo (page 87) is captioned "Head of one of the colossal statues on the façade of the Great Temple, Abu Simpel [sic], Thebes-West." Again, the captions for a series of photos (pages 146, 149, 150-151) locate Abu Simbel at "Thebes-West".

There is a photo of a scimitar on page 65 which the caption describes as the "Harpe of Ramses II". A harpe is described on page 64 as a "stick or crook showing that Pharaoh leads his people like a shepherd." It's obviously the wrong image as the photo on page 102, captioned "Ramses receives the khepesh of victory from Amun", shows a scimitar.

The hardcover edition - printed in Italy - is nicely bound with sewn quires.

I didn't buy the book. I borrowed it from my local library.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99d57e34) out of 5 stars A tedious read 7 Aug. 2011
By JW Baxter - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very difficult to follow. Not well organized, and the author goes to ridiculous lengths to use big words in long run-on sentences that serve only to confuse and irritate the reader. Phrases such as: "...the divine exploit that sanctifies the unearthly origin of Pharaoh." and "...literary allusions had elucidated the notion of theogamy...", terms such as "ponderous self-aggrandizement" and "inhumed" (instead of buried) get tremendously annoying in short order.
The binding and paper are first class however, and the pictures very nice. It's too bad the writing is so poor.
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