Amelia Peabody's Egypt

Amelia Peabody's Egypt

A Compendium

Book - 2003
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The Egypt that so enticed and enchanted intrepid archaeologist-sleuth Amelia Peabody in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was a place of wonder, mystery, danger, and the lure of antiquity. Now, with this monumental volume of Egyptian culture, history, and esoterica, 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 century 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 Also included in Amelia Peabody's Egypt are a hitherto unpublished journal entry and intimate biographies of the Emersons and their friends, which provide a uniquely personal view of the lives, relationships, opinions,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 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.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2003.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060538118
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY Amelia 2003
Characteristics: 334 p. :,ill. ;,29 cm.


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Aug 23, 2018

Since 2005, I have read or listened to 11 books in the Amelia Peabody series including "Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A compendium" (2003). Reading this book while reading one of the novels helps me place the characters and locations in context. This increases my appreciation of the novel.

I enjoy the novels because I am interested in Egyptian archaeology, late 19th and early 20th century life in the English-speaking world and women’s lives at that time. Barbara Mertz (1927-2013), writing under the pen name Elizabeth Peters, gives the reader very entertaining mysteries about a strong, brilliant woman set in a fascinating historical-cultural and geographical context with delightful humor. I am especially interested in the comments related to women’s empowerment, marriage and motherhood. After reading the articles below, I have much greater appreciation for Barbara Mertz who earned a Ph. D. in Egyptology from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in 1952 and could not get a job in her field because of her gender. From this perspective, Amelia Peabody’s feminist comments are relevant and make good sense.


Official Webpage of Barbara G. Mertz.

Ripley, Mike. Barbara Mertz obituary. The Guardian, 8/13/13.

Slotnik, Daniel E. Barbara Mertz, Egyptologist and Mystery Writer, Dies at 85. New York Times, Arts, 8/13/13.

Oct 19, 2017

Calling to all fans of the inestimable Amelia Peabody mysteries! This is a super companion book (best used this way) with not only a useful encyclopedia of people and places, but also insights into the world of Egypt (and Britain) during the time of the novels.

EuSei Jul 23, 2011

If you are doing research on Victorian and Edwardian time Egypt, this is an interesting book for a general view of the eras. IMPORTANT: if you are not acquainted with the Peabody series of books, be very careful not to be confused by the constant references/pictures to fictional characters--such as Amelia, Emerson, their son "Ramses," etc--mixed with real Historical facts and people. Subjects are not deeply researched, but will give a good idea where to start for beginners. There is a meager bibliography, but some of the books listed will also have bibliographies. Mertz (Peters real name) book is composed by several chapters written by different authors. The one on feminism, instead of being a mere relation of facts, is tainted by the author's feminist beliefs. In "An Expert Analysis of the Principles of Islam," Salima Ikran presents Islam under a soft light, while defending its indefensible practices; also she is not an expert, but an archeologist. Ikram dismisses the submissive state of modern Islamic women by stating that "during the Emerson's time in Egypt, Muslim women [experienced] several limitations not shared by contemporary western women"--which we know is a current situation for opressed muslim women. She explains that Emerson "was interested in and conversant with Islamic tradition"; on the other hand, he was extremely and constantly disrespectful to Christian beliefs. The book has a few inaccuracies; for example, in "Lesser Breed Without The Law," there is a picture of "posing with the 'locals' near Asswan"; I was surprised that Mrs. Mertz did not identify the "locals" correctly as the fascinating Bisharin (Beja), whose puffy, curly hairdos were so characteristic. Later on Ezbekieh is merely described as a "district in Cairo, originally a lake, turned into elegant gardens in 1870 [...]." Actually it was not a lake, but it turned into a lake every time the Nile flooded and its transformation began on 1863, after Mohamed Ali drained it. Surprisingly, I could not find anything about Abas Hilmi Pasha, Khedive until 1914; his last wife, May Torok von Szendro (Princess Djavidan Hanum), wrote a fascinating book, must read by researchers of that era: Harem Life. I also highly recommend the following, among too many good books writen at late 1800's and early 1900's: Egypt: Handbook for Travelers (Baedeker guides), Cooks Tourist Handbook of Egypt, Our Houseboat in the Nile (Mrs. Lee Bacon), To-Day on the Nile (Harry W. Dunning), Cairo and its environs (Augustus O. Lamplough), Cairo, the city of the caliphs (Eustace A. Reynolds-Ball), Harems et musulmanes d'Égypte (Riya Salima [Madame Husayn Rushdi Pasha]), Harem years: the memoirs of an Egyptian feminist (Huda Shaarawi), A lifetime in Egypt, 1876-1935,(Mabel Caillard), Cairo, the Glory Years (not from that era, but worth reading, by Samir W. Raafat).


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