No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Toby Wilkinson read Egyptology at Cambridge University and has been hailed by The Daily Telegraph as 'the foremost Egyptologist of his time'. Since January 2004 he has been a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. He is a member of the international editorial board of the Journal of Egyptian History, and has broadcast on radio and television in the UK and abroad on topics connected with Egypt, ancient and modern. He is the author of seven books including The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt (2010) which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was recommended as a book of the year by critics on both sides of the Atlantic. He is currently Head of the International Strategy Office at the University of Cambridge and lives in Suffolk.
From Herodotus's day to the present political upheavals, the steady flow of the Nile has been Egypt's heartbeat. It has shaped its geography, controlled its economy and moulded its civilisation. The same stretch of water which conveyed Pharaonic battleships, Ptolemaic grain ships, Roman troop-carriers and Victorian steamers today carries modern-day tourists past bankside settlements in which rural life - fishing, farming, flooding - continues much as it has for millennia. At this most critical juncture in the country's history, foremost Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson takes us on a journey up the Nile, north from Lake Victoria, from Cataract to Cataract, past the Aswan Dam, to the delta. The country is a palimpsest, every age has left its trace: as we pass the Nilometer on the island of Elephantine which since the days of the Pharaohs has measured the height of Nile floodwaters to predict the following season's agricultural yield and set the parameters for the entire Egyptian economy, the wonders of Giza which bear the scars of assault by nineteenth-century archaeologists and the modern-day unbridled urban expansion of Cairo - and in Egypt's earliest art (prehistoric images of fish-traps carved into cliffs) and the Arab Spring (fought on the bridges of Cairo) - the Nile is our guide to understanding the past and present of this unique, chaotic, vital, conservative yet rapidly changing land.
What could be more exciting, more exotic or more intrepid than digging in the sands of Egypt in the hope of discovering golden treasures from the age of the pharaohs? Our fascination with ancient Egypt goes back to the ancient Greeks. But the heyday of Egyptology was undoubtedly the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This golden age of scholarship and adventure is neatly book-ended by two epoch-making events: Champollion's decipherment of hieroglyphics in 1822 and the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon a hundred years later. In A World Beneath the Sands, the acclaimed Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson tells the riveting stories of the men and women whose obsession with Egypt's ancient civilisation drove them to uncover its secrets. Champollion, Carter and Carnarvon are here, but so too are their lesser-known contemporaries, such as the Prussian scholar Karl Richard Lepsius, the Frenchman Auguste Mariette and the British aristocrat Lucie Duff-Gordon. Their work - and those of others like them - helped to enrich and transform our understanding of the Nile Valley and its people, and left a lasting impression on Egypt, too. Travellers and treasure-hunters, ethnographers and epigraphers, antiquarians and archaeologists: whatever their motives, whatever their methods, all understood that in pursuing Egyptology they were part of a greater endeavour - to reveal a lost world, buried for centuries beneath the sands.
From the dawn of history to the death of Cleopatra, ancient Egypt was home to larger-than-life personalities. Across one hundred lives, Toby Wilkinson explores the true character and diversity of human experience in the ancient world's greatest civilization. Some of those profiled are famous: pharaohs and queens such as Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Ramesses II and Tiye. Others are lesser known but equally engaging: Imhotep, architect of the first pyramid; Perniankhu, the court dwarf; and the royal sculptor Bak. Equally illuminating are the lives of commoners, so rarely given their own voice: ordinary men and women who include a doctor, a dentist, a housewife, a musician - and a serial criminal.
A collection of letters in a small painted box passed down through three generations of a London family is the starting point for a vivid account of a three-month journey up and down the Nile in a bygone age. The letters, like a time capsule, bring to life a lost world of Edwardian travel and social mores, of Egypt on the brink of the modern age, of the great figures of Egyptology, of aristocrats and archaeologists. In 1907/08 Ferdinand Platt (known to his family as Ferdy) traveled to Egypt as personal physician to the ailing 8th Duke of Devonshire-one of the giant statesmen of the late Victorian age-and his family party, recounting his adventure in letters to his young wife in England. Throughout the journey Ferdy not only reported on the sights of the country around him, with his amateur Egyptologist's eye, and the people he met along the way (including Howard Carter and Winston Churchill) but also recorded his private thoughts and intimate observations of a formal and stratified society, soon to be witness to its own extinction. Introduced by Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson and Ferdy's great-nephew Julian Platt, the letters open an intriguing window onto travel in Egypt during the Belle Epoque and the golden age of Egyptology.
'Man perishes; his corpse turns to dust; all his relatives pass away. But writings make him remembered' In ancient Egypt, words had magical power. Inscribed on tombs and temple walls, coffins and statues, or inked onto papyri, hieroglyphs give us a unique insight into the life of the Egyptian mind. Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson has freshly translated a rich and diverse range of ancient Egyptian writings into modern English, including tales of shipwreck and wonder, obelisk inscriptions, mortuary spells, funeral hymns, songs, satires and advice on life from a pharaoh to his son. Spanning over two millennia, this is the essential guide to a complex, sophisticated culture. Translated with an Introduction by Toby Wilkinson
This is a story studded with extraordinary achievements and historic moments, from the building of the pyramids and the conquest of Nubia, through Akhenaten's religious revolution, the power and beauty of Nefertiti, the glory of Tutankhamun's burial chamber, and the ruthlessness of Ramesses, to Alexander the Great's invasion, and Cleopatra's fatal entanglement with Rome. As the world's first nation-state, the history of Ancient Egypt is above all the story of the attempt to unite a disparate realm and defend it against hostile forces from within and without. Combining grand narrative sweep with detailed knowledge of hieroglyphs and the iconography of power, Toby Wilkinson reveals Ancient Egypt in all its complexity.
The ancient civilization of Egypt offers a dazzling array of kings and dynasties, gods and goddesses, temples and tombs, and this new dictionary provides a handy reference guide through this endlessly fascinating subject. All the major archaeological sites of Egypt and Sudan are described and a unique feature of this unrivalled coverage is a separate entry for every king who ruled Egypt, from its birth as a state to Alexander the Great. From Abgig to Zoser, from aegis to zodiac, this book will appeal to tourists, museum visitors, armchair travellers and serious scholars alike.