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Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A Compendium [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Peters
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 9 2003

The Egypt that so enticed and enchanted intrepid archaeologist-sleuth Amelia Peabody in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries was a place of wonder, mystery, danger, and the lure of antiquity. Now, with this monumental volume of Egyptian culture, history, and arcania, readers will be able to immerse themselves in the great lady's world more completely than ever before.

Journey through the bustling streets and markets of Cairo a hundred years ago. Surround yourself with the customs and color of a bygone time. Explore ancient tombs and temples and marvel at the history of this remarkable land -- from the age of the pharaohs through the Napoleonic era to the First World War. Also included in Amelia Peabody's Egypt are a hitherto unpublished journal entry and intimate biographies of the Emersons and their friends, which provide a uniquely personal view of the lives, relationships, opinions, politics, and delightful eccentricities of mystery's first family, as well as unforgettable pearls of wit and wisdom from everyone's favorite fictional Egyptologist herself.

Containing nearly 600 black-and-white photographs and illustrations, and articles by numerous experts, Amelia Peabody's Egypt sparkles with unforgettable glimpses of the exotic and the bizarre, the unusual and the unfamiliar -- a treasure trove that overflows with Egyptological riches, along with wonderful insights into the culture and mores of the Victorian era, including the prevalent attitudes on empire, fashion, feminism, tourists, servants, and much more.

A one-of-a-kind collection that offers endless hours of pleasure for Peabodyphiles and Egypt aficionados alike, here is a tome to cherish; a grand and glorious celebration of the life, the work, and the world of the incomparable Amelia Peabody.

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From Publishers Weekly

Fans of Peters's bestselling series featuring Amelia Peabody Emerson and her family (Crocodile on the Sandbank, etc.) will welcome this companion volume, which entertainingly blurs fact and fiction. In her role as "editor" of Mrs. Emerson's journals, Peters provides a preface, while other contributors supply articles on the historical and cultural background of Egyptology. (Typical is "`Lesser Breeds without the Law': An Insightful Diatribe on the Victorian Attitude Towards Other Cultures & Peoples," by Barbara Mertz, the real name of the pseudonymous Peters, who has a Ph.D. in the subject.) One section, "The People of the Journals," straightfacedly presents period photographs of the members of the extended Emerson clan. Filled with black-and-white illustrations of people and places (credit for the design goes to Egyptophile Dennis Forbes), this attractive book both informs and enchants. The jacket art of three Victorian ladies inspecting a temple fits the tone of the text perfectly.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“This attractive book both informs and enchants.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Lovely...delightfully mixes fact with Amelia’s fictional world and brings insight to both.” (Anniston Star)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars amusing March 22 2013
By maureen
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It makes a great looking coffee table book.fun to look through,informative ,re background info on Egyptian archeology..even if you're not an Amelia Peabody fan
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and Disappointing at the same time! Jan. 3 2004
By A Customer
The delightful part is the wonderful black and white pictues and drawings that fill this book to the brim. They take up a lot of room and maybe that's a good point.
The disappointing part is that Amelia Peabody fans will find little new about her in this book. The most confusing chapter deals with the history of archaeology in Egypt from the 1800's. You start reading what appears to be a history of the famous players of the era, and then all of a sudden, Emerson and Amelia's discoveries and exploits are mixed in, so anyone who was hoping for a history of who found what where and when will still be wondering at the end of the chapter. There is also a lot of confusion about "real" people and characters who both have their names and photo's interspersed in the text. The last chapter of the book has some childhood pictures of Emerson and Amelia, as well as pictures of real people.
Real Peabody enthusiasts will probably enjoy this book, but I feel sorry for any child who picks this up and writes a report for school!
If you were hoping for material on the parts of the Emerson's lives not covered by the novels, you will be disappointed. There's very little new here, not even any interesting facts about the famous Seth/Sethos and what his life was like between appearances in the novels.
Like the novels, this book is charming. Unlike the novels it is confusing and shallow.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This book truly is "Amelia Peabody's Egypt" Oct. 10 2004
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
I have only read "Falcon at the Portal" and was not very impressed. However this book gives a lot more insight to Elizabeth Peters' characters and their environment of nineteenth and twentieth century environment. We weave reality with literature never really knowing where one starts and the other stops. The book is jam-packed with actual monochrome photos and sketches of famous (at the time) people and landmarks.
Under the section marked "People and Places" Heinrich Schliemann received a whole paragraph. This must make up for the lack of a bibliography and index.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I could have imagined! Dec 28 2003
By A Customer
This compendium gives a wonderful insight into the Egypt of the Peabody-Emerson's era. It's filled with images, details, essays on culture, fashion, even child rearing in the Victorian era. An absolute "must have" for any Peabodyphiles out there.
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AMELIA PEABODY'S EGYPT: A COMPENDIUM is a collection of articles about Egypt and Victorian culture, 19th century Egyptian history, early archeology, and a comprehensive listing of places and people (both fictional and historical) that are listed in the growing collection of Amelia Peabody historical mysteries. The compendium also includes a huge number of period photographs and etchings that depict Egypt and archeological digs as they existed in the time when Emerson and Amelia were digging, solving mysteries, and confounding the German/Turkish invaders.
Readers looking for a detailed history of Victorian Egypt should probably look elsewhere for their primary material but will want to consider adding the compendium as a secondary source. But fans of the Elizabeth Peters mystery series can hardly go wrong with this fascinating look at the culture and history of Egyptology.
Recommendation--if you're a Peters fan, print out this review and leave it where present-giving significant others will find it. Underline the words 'MUST HAVE.' Alternately, buy it for yourself. The pictures alone are worth the price and then some. It's a treasure.
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