A Passion for Egypt: Arthur Weigall, Tutankhamun and the Curse of the PharaohsHardback
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- Publisher: Tauris Parke Paperbacks
- Format: Hardback | 288 pages
- Dimensions: 163mm x 242mm x 36mm | 753g
- Publication date: 7 December 2001
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1860645666
- ISBN 13: 9781860645662
- Edition statement: New.
- Illustrations note: 8pp b&w plates
The first quarter of the twentieth century witnessed many spectacular archaeological discoveries in Egypt, with that of Tutankhamun the most sensational. During this period Arthur Weigall, the British Egyptologist, was involved with the exploration of the antiquities of Luxor - particularly in the Tombs of the Nobles and the Valley of the Kings. His enthusiasm and energy played a large part in popularising ancient Egypt at a time when Luxor was becoming a fashionable winter resort for the elite of Europe and the USA. As Chief Inspector of Antiquities, Weigall played host to visiting royalty and aristocracy as they converged on Egypt in the years leading up to the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb under Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon - with whom he came into conflict over newspaper reporting of the find. Following Carnarvon's premature death in Egypt it was Weigall's remarks to the press that led to the infamous story of the 'Curse of the Pharaohs': a myth that persists to this day. However, Weigall's real legacy derives from his great passion for Egypt - both ancient and modern - that is the constant theme of this compelling biography.
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Julie Hankey is the granddaughter of Arthur Weigall and has had access to previously unseen private papers in researching his life.
'...not only a good read; it provides a palatable introduction to Egyptian history and cuture, as well as much food for thought for 'those who know the subject'... All in all, this is the best life-story of an egyptologist for many years - though it's hard to imagine who could have been a more likeable subject than Arthur Weigall." -- Dominic Montserrat, Egyptian Archaeology 'The book opens a door on a world that is now part of history and reveals one of the more fascinating, if minor, actors on the great stage of British Imperial history.' -Contemporary Review "Arthur Weigall was truly a pioneer and man of vision before his time in much that he advocated: his memory is well served in this delightful and informative biography." -- Peter A. Clayton, Minerva March/April 2002 [Weigall's life and work] have now been given a treatment that is hard to fault, a must for anyone with an interest in the history of Egyptology -or even just a fascinating life.' -- KMT: A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt, 4th December 2005 '...Hankey's sympathetic but not uncritical book takes its place as an extremely vivid recreation of a part of the history of Egyptology.' -- Miriam Bibby, Ancient Egypt Magazine, Sept/Oct 2002 '...the charm and intimacy of this biography deserve an audience beyond Egyptological circles.' Ralph Amelan, Jerusalem Post, 30th August 2002 '...the varid aspects of a complex man are brought together, and the result is eloquent and altogether benign.' John Ray, Times Literary Supplement, 21st February 2003
Table of contents
Part One 1880 - 1914 1 'that violent hullabaloo' 3 2 'select establishments' 13 3 From pedigrees to hieroglyphs 17 4 Egypt 'like a house on fire' 26 5 Private idyll; Howard Carter; public ideal 38 6 Yuya and Tuya, and Weigall 'Bashmufetish' 54 7 The flooding of Nubia; the Tombs of the Nobles 67 8 Another royal tomb: Queen Tiy? Akhnaten? 82 9 The Eastern Desert; 'odium archaeologicum' 98 10 Gaiety; Akhnaten; and Howard Carter again 110 11 Maspero; the Autocrat of Thebes; Akhnaten's curse 130 12 Alan Gardiner at Gurneh; high life in Luxor 139 13 'Egyptologists are themselves... the worst vandals' 158 14 Breakdown; the bronze; the war for Egypt's heritage 171 15 Scandal, schemes, and Egyptology for Egyptians 188 Part Two 1914 - 1934 16 From Egypt to the West End 209 17 Experiments in theatre and film 226 18 Novelist and film critic 245 19 Tut-ankh-Carter and TutCarnarvon 259 20 American lecture tour; Carter again; and divorce 275 21 Egyptian chronology; English monuments 292 22 The Old Brigade versus the moderns 310 23 History again: beating the Philistines 322 24 Shutting the door 334 CONTENTS Appendix: the concession allowing Theodore Davis to dig in the Valley of the Kings 345 Sources 349 Notes and References 353 Index 371