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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars

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on 2 June 2017
Excellent read, detailed info. Joyce Tyldesley books are great for the student or amateur
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on 6 December 2007
Joyce Tyldesley provides us with a thorough examination of the evidence surrounding the pharaoh Hatchepsut. She discusses issues such as the disputed order of succession, the conspicuous over-use of propaganda by Hatchepsut to legitimize her power and the question of exactly who attempted to erase the name of Hatchepsut from the monuments and why. Her arguments in each case are based on a judicious weighing of the evidence and the reader is always provided with alternative interpretations from other scholars. Tyldesley systematically dismantles the prevalent opinion that many of the actions of both Hatchepsut herself and her stepson Tuthmosis were motivated by a deadly enmity. On this issue she suggests that Tuthmosis was relatively accepting of the co-regency his stepmother imposed on him, but fails to suggest a convincing motivation for this. The one real disappointment in the book is that Tyldesley does not provide us with any real suggestion as to how Hatchepsut was able to succeed in establishing herself as pharaoh. She emphasizes that Hatchepsut would have needed both an acceptable reason and widespread support among the powerful men of the kingdom to be able to go against maat (the Egyptian concept of tradition and balance) and establish herself as king, but does not provide us with a plausible suggestion as to what such a reason may have been or whose support may have been responsible for her success. Admittedly, there are unlikely to be definitive answers, but these questions are barely raised. All in all, the book is an intriguing and insightful portrait of the world's first truly powerful woman.
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HALL OF FAMEon 3 October 2003
Joyce Tyldesley (who also wrote the book on 'Nefertiti', which I have reviewed recently) has produced a well-researched work exploring the political, social and family climate into which Hatchepsut was thrown. Using historical research and archaeological discoveries, she has produced a marvelous biography, restoring this long-forgotten ruler to the ranks of the Pharoahs.
Tyldesley begins with an examination of the general society: the role of pharoah, a divine/absolute ruler upon which almost all society turned; the role of the royal family, the priest and military classes, and the interaction with foreign cultures. From here she proceeds to examine the specifics of the Tuthmoside family, with their warring factions and cooperative ventures designed to shore up a tenuous grasp on the authority of power. Examining Hatchepsut's rise to power, she divides it into two chapters - 'Queen of Egypt' and 'King of Egypt'.
This is an interesting, accessible biography which brings to light many recent discoveries and shares contrasting theories of the history of this interesting figure.
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on 6 December 2007
With a use of the historical and archaeological evidence from various places in Egypt and beyond, an Oxford-educated Joyce Tyldesley has written a well-detailed biography book entitled "Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh." The book, as similar to her "Nefertiti," drives the general readers to experience and to understand the story of the female Pharaoh named Hatchepsut, her historical family background, the history of her memory after her death, and theories of historical scholars who have studied. There are eight chapters in the book with the addition of the "Introduction," which highlights Hatchepsut as a preferred King of Egypt, addresses a brief history of the Dynasty periods, and introduces Manetho who preserved the memory of Hatchepsut.

What came as interesting to which this book explores the relationship between Hatchepsut and her father, Pharaoh Tuthmosis I. There does not appeared to be any negativity between them, and was seen as very positive. Throughout the years of her rule, Hatchepsut honored her father "in every way possible" in order to preserve her direct link to Tuthmosis I as a rightful heir to Egyptian throne (p. 117-8). Since she was born to both Tuthmosis I and Queen Ahmose who were of a royal blood, Hatchepsut believed that she had a direct royal bloodline because her brother-husband, Tuthmosis II, was born to a mother who was not from a royal bloodline. Therefore, she believed that she had a right to rule Egypt regardless of what her gender was. An impression that comes to one's mind from the book is that Hatchepsut needed to rule Egypt in the honor of her father and not for her personal agenda.

Tyldesley also pointed out the creation of Hatchepsut's "divine birth" story as well the role of women in the Theban royal family as evidence for Hatchepsut to be a rightful ruler of Egypt.

The author holds the readers' interest with a clear writing and vivid understanding when it comes to historical biography and theories. The book is well-organized with the visual aspects of maps, figures, and pictures. She has presented a historical analysis that was not dry or technical, and it should be a good advantage for readers' ancient Egyptian knowledge. Tyldesley's book is recommended to both the general readers and historical scholars because the author brought forth a readable and very interesting book.
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on 13 November 2001
As a egyptologists from the confides of my own house, I throughly enjoyed this insight into Hatchepsuts life and court.
For anyone who wants to learn about the new "Golden Age" of Egypt from the time of despair in Egypt and the regaining of power by Egypt from the regin of Ahmose to the complex reigns from the Tuthmosides empire through to the complexities of the reign of Hatchepsut, this book is a good start.
It outlines the reign of a forgotten pharaoh who was not mentioned on the kings lists but who's memory was not entirely wiped away by her step-son/nephew Tuthmosis III.
The book goes on to explain the family tree of the Tuthmoside empire and gives explanations into the correct order that each Tuthmosis regined from her father, to her brother/husband , to her reign and that of her co-regency with her step-son/nephew.
It gives detailed acounts of her mortuary temple at Djeser-Djeseru commonly known now as Del-el-Bahri and the reliefs on the temple walls outlining her expiditions to the land of Punt and so forth.
Joyce Tyldesley also gives an account of her supposedly love affair with Senenmut and his influence on her life and that of her daughter Neferure.
To summarize this book I would say that it gives the reader with an already stable interest in Egypt and Hatchepsut ,more light on her life, love, political and unfortunate temporary loss of remmbrance as a Pharoah, slighty more indepth scholarly biography of a remarkable woman who had great power over Egypt and who's peace keping expeditions did alot for the stability and wealth of a truly Golden Empire.
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on 30 October 1997
As an armchair Egyptologist who enjoys both historical and fictional accounts of ancient Egypt, I found this book very enjoyable. The author's style is clear and easy to read, and while the tone is scholarly it is highly accessible. The events leading to Hatchepsut's ascension are laid out clearly and concisely, which is is a boon to those who might not have their dynasties down pat. It's a wonderful look at a mysterious part of ancient history, and Tyldesly gives several fascinating new interpretations of Hatchepsut's life and ultimate fate.
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on 5 January 1999
This is not a biography. The author explains why this book could not be a biography -- not enough is known about the pharoah or her lifetime. This book is more for those who are interested in archaelogy/Egyptology. Still an interesting read, although the author's writing tends to read "As I mentioned in Chapter 4" or "I will discuss further in Chapter 7" (highly irritating).
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on 24 August 1998
Great read!! I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Tyldesley's observations on the "female pharoah". I am a pseudo-egyptologist and I love fictional and historical accounts of ancient egypt, particularly observations about women in ancient egypt. Although this book is scholarly in its language and some of its observations, the text is comprehensible and readable. I have recommended this book to all of my friends and I cannot wait for her next book on ancient egypt. (Another good read is any books on ancient egypt by Gay Robbins. I just finished her "Art of Ancient Egypt" . . . very good.)
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on 7 January 2016
Really enjoyed this excellent book. Obviously it is now slightly dated but that is true of all books about history. Nevertheless, a very readable and interesting study of a great woman.
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on 19 February 2016
The known information about Hatchepsut is limited, but the author makes up for that by building picture of the society in which Haatchepsut lived in. A very readable and enjoyable book.
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