This was the second book on Egyptian history I brought as an adult. As an academic resource it is probably the definitive introduction to that subject. It runs chronologically from Predynastic up to the end of the Roman Period, offering a brief but accurate and meaningful glance into the reigns of all the Pharaohs and assorted foreign rulers who shaped Egyptian history.
The academic effort that went into this work must have been immense, and it is rightly one of the most important standard texts for all students, or indeed for those who aspire to become one. Indeed this volume now sits, rather well thumbed as a standard reference on my desk.
At first glance the small typeface and crammed approach makes this a slightly daunting work, but it's division into quite separate works on the major periods of Egyptian history (predynastic,old, FIP, middle, SIP, new, TIP, late, Ptolemaic, roman) means you can easily approach this book "a kingdom at a time", a much better way of tackling it, and also make it an excellent book for soaking up intellectually dead time such as commuting, work etc, which is how I approached it.
Whilst this work lacks some of the readability of Tydesley or Gahlin, it is a veritable gold mine of solidly researched history and for anyone interested in serious/mainstream Egyptian history, there really is no better place to start. It also contains a very useful bibliography for digging further into the nitty gritty of particular areas which fascinate you.
You really do need this book...
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