- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
More copies of this ISBN
In the Valley of the Kings: Howard Carter and the Mystery of King Tutankhamun's Tombby Daniel Meyerson
Synopses & Reviews
In 1922, the British archaeologist Henry Carter opened King Tutankhamuns tomb, illuminating the glories of an ancient civilization. And while the world celebrated the extraordinary revelation that gave Carter international renown and an indelible place in history, by the time of his death, the discovery had nearly destroyed him. Now, in a stunning feat of narrative nonfiction, Daniel Meyerson has written a thrilling and evocative account of this remarkable man and his times.
Carter began his career inauspiciously. At the age of seventeen-unknown, untrained, untried-he was hired as a copyist of tomb art by the brash, brilliant, and boldly unkempt father of modern archaeology, W. F. Petrie. Carter struck out on his own a few years later, sensing that something amazing lay buried beneath his feet, waiting for him to uncover it.
But others had the same idea: The ancient cities of Egypt were crawling with European adventurers and their wealthy sponsors, each hoping to outdo the others with glittering discoveries-even as growing nationalist resentment against foreigners plundering the countrys most treasured antiquities simmered dangerously in the background.
Not until Carter met up with the risk-taking, adventure-loving occultist Lord Carnarvon did his fortunes change. There were stark differences in personality and temperament between the cantankerous Carter and his gregarious patron, but together they faced down endless ridicule from the most respected explorers of the day. Seven dusty and dispiriting years after their first meeting, their dream came to astonishing life.
But there would be a price to pay for this partnership, their discovery, and the glory and fame it brought both men-and the chain of events that transpired in the wake of their success remains fascinating and shocking to this day.
An enthralling story told with unprecedented verve, In the Valley of the Kings is a tale of mania and greed, of fame and lost fortune, of history and its damnations. As he did in The Linguist and the Emperor, Daniel Meyerson puts his exciting storytelling powers on full display, revealing an almost forgotten time when past and present came crashing together with the power to change-or curse-mens lives.
At the moment in 1922 when Howard Carter uncovered the mummy of King Tut, he catapulted both parties from obscurity to fame. In this slim volume, Daniel Meyerson places that moment in the context of biography, archaeology, Egyptology and mythology. Tutankhamun was the son of a sun-worshipping mad monotheist who abolished the national religion and built his own capital city and burial... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) complex in the mid-1300s B.C.E. The father's death threw the country into religious and political turmoil (Tut himself died young, perhaps in a hunting accident). Ironically, Egypt was in a similar state just 100 years ago, as a native political awakening began to undercut French influence, British domination and Ottoman rule. At the same time, brilliant (and occasionally unscrupulous and sticky-fingered) archaeologists scrambled for wealthy patrons as they panned for the gold of a civilization buried beneath the sand. Carter, a low-born, little-educated, lonely and slightly crazed British artist who became one of the greatest Egyptologists of his day, is a compelling central character, and his eccentric mentor William Flinders Petrie also commands attention. Carter found the greatest treasure under the desert, but never found peace: Tut's true curse was to be so well hidden that only an eternally dissatisfied man would have the patience to discover his tomb. Meyerson brings to life the excitement of that hunt. Reviewed by Alexander F. Remington, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
(hide most of this review)
About the Author
Daniel Meyerson, an Ellis Fellow at Columbia University, has taught writing at Columbia, New York University, and Bennington College. He is the author of The Linguist and the Emperor: Napoleon and Champollions Quest to Decipher the Rosetta Stone and Blood and Splendor: The Lives of Five Tyrants, from Nero to Saddam Hussein. He lives in New York City.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Featured Titles