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Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A Compendium    edited by Elizabeth Peters & Kristen Whitbread Amazon.com order for
Amelia Peabody's Egypt
by Elizabeth Peters
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Amelia Peabody's Egypt : A Compendium is just what the title implies - a collection of everything a devotee of the series featuring Amelia, her husband Emerson ('Father of Curses') and their son Ramses would ever want to know about the main players and the many lesser characters that so joyfully people Elizabeth Peters' books. Egyptology from the time of Napoleon to 1917, as well as the British presence in Egypt from 1884 to 1917, are explored in depth but not at great length.

A pictorial essay of tourists on the Nile intrigued me. The photographs and drawings from the years of Amelia's tomb excavations are wonderful. The principles of Islam are explored. I found this utterly fascinating, as well as the Victorian attitude towards other cultures. I must admit that when I picked up this book, I fully expected to look at the photos and drawings, pick out a word here and there that might catch my eye, and move on to something more pertinent to today. That I did not do. This coffee table book held my attention from the moment I cracked the front cover. I read every page no, every word. And I enjoyed each one. There's a very interesting look at the life of a servant during Victorian times. Other tangents cover the women's movement, as well as women's fashions and the philosophy of childrearing. The compendium also includes inventions of the times and the music and literature of the day.

But, for me, the most interesting section was the Who's Who listing of the People of the Journals. Each person presented in picture and/or text brought to mind the wonderful players conjured up for the famous Amelia Peabody journals and became a journey for me through them for another pleasurable time.

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