02
Apr
11

3 bucks

Sometimes I’m shocked what I find at the dollar store, regarding the book :  A century later Howard Carter called it “one of the most fascinating books in the whole of Egyptian literature.”

[Toward the end of 1820 the well-known London publish John Murray printed the 1st edition of his work, which was entitled Narrative of the operations and recent discoveries within the pyramids, temples, tombs and excavations in Egypt and Nubia; and of a journey to the coasts of the Red Sea, in search of the ancient Berenice; and another in the oasis of Jupiter Ammon. It was a quarto volume that ended with his wife’s account of her journey to the Holy Land, Mrs. Belzoni’s Trifling Account of the Women of Egypt, Nubia and Syria. The text was complemented by an atlas, entitled Forty Four Plates illustrative of the Researches and Operations of Belzoni in Egypt and Nubia, which presented watercolour drawings, some by Ricci and others by Belzoni himself. The book was a success with public and critics alike. The prestigious Quarterly Review wrote the following about Belzoni: “…he may justly be considered as the pioneer, and a most powerful and useful one, of antiquarian researches; he points out the road and makes it easy for others to travel over…”

A few months later, in 1821, Murray was forced to publish a second edition, which was followed by a third in 1822, in two octavo volumes. Six New Plates were added to the atlas as well. Narrative was immediately translated into French (Voyages en Egypte, et en Nubie, Paris 1821), German (Reise in Aegypt, Nubia. Jena 1821) and later, in 1825, into Italian (Viaggi in Egitto ed in Nubia…, Milan). In his book, Belzoni provides a meticulous description, written in a clear and linear style, of his adventures and discoveries during his sojourn in Egypt, defending himself, at times in an extremely polemical tone, from the calumnies of which he had been a victim. His passionate account offers a vivid picture of Egypt at that time which also contains a wealth of observations. A century later Howard Carter called it “one of the most fascinating books in the whole of Egyptian literature. At the Egyptian Hall at Piccadilly, Belzoni organized a grandiose exhibition of the ancient objects he had gathered in his four years of research. On display were the drawings and casts from the tomb of Sety I, two of the most beautiful chambers of which were reconstructed, the lion-headed statues of the goddess Sekhmet, a model of the Pyramid of Khephren, mummies, and other minor finds.]
 

 

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1984 Computer portrait from State Fair

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