Skip to main content

Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt: From Early Dynastic Times To The Death Of Cleopatra by Joyce Tyldesley: A Book Review

 Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt: from Early Dynastic Times to the Death of Cleopatra
 Author: Joyce Tyldesley
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, History
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Release Date: 2006
Pages: 224
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: This fascinating saga spans 3,000 years of Egyptian queenship from Early Dynastic times until the suicide of Cleopatra in 30 BC. Starting with the unique role of Egypt's women in the ancient world, the book goes on to present a biographical portrait of every queen, supplemented by a wealth of pictorial detail, datafiles, genealogical trees, timelines, and special features--from Childbirth to Wigs--highlighting different aspects of Egyptian culture.

     The queen of Egypt was, first and foremost, a supportive wife and mother, but in times of dynastic crisis she was expected to act as her husband's deputy. The queen might be required to marshal troops, or to rule on behalf of an infant son. She might even be called upon to rule in her own right in the absence of a suitable king. The female pharaohs Hatshepsut and Tawosret, the sun queens Tiy and Nefertiti, the beautiful Nefertari and Cleopatra: many of Egypt's queens have left an indelible mark on their country's history.


     And what of Egypt's lesser queens, the numerous wives and daughters maintained in pampered seclusion in the harem palaces? These anonymous women occasionally stepped from the security of the harem to influence the royal succession, and their stories, too, are told.


     Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt is both a popular history and a superb work of  reference that will appeal to travelers, museum visitors, and anyone intrigued by the life and times of the ancient Egyptians. 


     My Review: In Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt, Tyldesley's novel of the history of ancient Egypt is told from a different perspective, the queens of Egypt. The queens that have been shrouded in the background and eclipsed for centuries by their more-powerful and more-famous husbands, the pharaohs of Egypt, now take center stage in this biography. Spanning for 3,000 years of Egypt's history, Tyldesley's novel gives an intriguing biography of each queen.


     Among these amazing stories of these queens are the biographies of the famous women: Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, Ankhesenamun (King Tut's wife), Nefertari, and Cleopatra VII (the last Egyptian pharaoh), and along with the other less well-known queen consorts. Each of these consorts were powerful in their own right and played a vital necessary role in serving the pharaoh, participating in both political and religious roles of ancient Egypt. Some of these queens had as much power as their husbands, were recognized as their equals, and ruled alongside as co-regents. Some of the queens were regents and female kings (some of them like Sobeknefru, Hatshepsut, and Tawosret were both). Some were the King's Mother, who was given more power and authority than a queen's consort.

     Tyldesley also gives the reader detailed information about the women of ancient Egypt for example, women's health and childbirth, women's hygiene, and hairdressing, and women in literature. She also talks about the religion of ancient Egypt, the roles of the Egyptian priestesses, and the roles of the female deities. She also mentions the obscure secondary wives of the pharaohs, wives who were not queen consorts. Unlike the hegemonic discourse of harem women sitting idly in the palace, these women actually had to work for their keep. Some of the harem queens became King Mothers (a title to given to mothers of the king). Tyldesley mentions one harem queen, Tiy, who plotted to kill her husband, Ramesses III, so her son could rule as Egypt's next king. The plan ultimately backfired, and Queen Tiy and her son were forced to commit suicide.

     Overall, Tyldesley's biography of each Egyptian queen is a fascinating and much needed account. The novel is written in a comprehensive style for the general reader. It is complete with timelines and genealogical trees that helps the reader understand and not get lost. It is filled with fascinating pictures of the archeological findings of the majority of the queens, for instance, some of the queens' jewelry, statues of the queens, pictures of their tombs, and even pictures of their mummies. The stories themselves are very easy to read and enjoyable. The reader will also gain an accessible, quick, and detailed account about the history of the Egyptian empire that spanned for 3,000 years. My only complaint about this book is that the names are hard to pronounce, and I wish that there was a pronunciation guide included. This novel is a tribute to not only the Egyptian queens but also to all women in Ancient Egypt.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

Blog Tour: Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles by Will Bashor

Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles [history/biographical nonfiction] Release date: June 15, 2020 Postponed due to Covid-19: July 30, 2020 at Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Hardcover and ebook, 320 pages Author’s page | Goodreads SYNOPSIS Synopsis: This riveting book explores the little-known intimate life of Marie Antoinette and her milieu in a world filled with intrigue, infidelity, adultery, and sexually transmitted diseases. Will Bashor reveals the intrigue and debauchery of the Bourbon kings from Louis XIII to Louis XV, which were closely intertwined with the expansion of Versailles from a simple hunting lodge to a luxurious and intricately ordered palace. It soon became a retreat for scandalous conspiracies and rendezvous—all hidden from the public eye.       When Marie Antoinette arrived, she was quickly drawn into a true viper’s nest, encouraged by her imprudent entourage. Bashor shows that her often thoughtless, fantas