Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


2 Comments

Henry Rider Haggard’s Cleopatra

and_image_1366916320And talking about historical novels, Egypt and all this sort of stuff…
Henry Rider Haggard, author of King Solomon’s Mines and She, two books that are highly regarded here on Karavansara, also wrote a book called Cleopatra, published in 1889.

Now, it is sometimes an overlooked fact that Rider Haggard wrote a huge number of books (56 novels, 3 collections of stories and 10 non-fiction books), and while he is still best remembered for his Quatermain-Ayesha novels, but his catalog includes al sort of historical and exotic adventure.
And most if not all of it is available for free online.

But about Cleopatra, now… Continue reading

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Karavansara Free Library: Georg Ebers

4f33d756b86612f6bf4e199cca2a532b--literatureYou have to admit the idea had potential: popularize the subjects of Egyptology and Ancient History by writing historical romances.
And so Egyptologist Georg Moritz Ebers, a German that had pursued a legal career before he moved on to Egyptology, becoming teacher of Egyptian language in 1868 in Jena, decided to pursue a parallel career as a novelist.

The guy was a legit Egyptologist, and today is mostly known for the Ebers Papyrus, a medical text from 1550 BC, in the form of a scroll containing 700 magical spells and practical remedies.
Ebers had not actually “discovered” the papyrus – he had just purchased it from Edwin Smith, an American from Orlando, Florida, that lived in Egypt and acquired various documents from sources unknown.
This is not actually strange – a lot of Egyptian antiques were not discovered, but bought by Europeans and Americans from various purveyors of ancient goods. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Too old for Young Indiana Jones, too young to die

Yesterday I mentioned that there are things in the past that should be let to rest – case in point, the pseudo-science/UFOs/ancient mysteries books of the seventies, that I loved as a kid and now find insufferable.

Another case in point – The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, the spin-off series telling us the early exploits of Henry Jones Jr., before he went looking for the Lost Ark… and even before a number of the tie-innovels.

I re-watched the a few episodea yesterday night.
Goodness was it boring! Continue reading


Leave a comment >

Once an editor handed me a raw deal, and I went with a howl to my friend Bill for advice. He was a writer of twenty years’ experience, and a man of wisdom. He heard my howl, and then smiled.
“Remember one thing,” he said. “Before you do or say anything rash, just reflect that the editor is the man that sends out the checks.”
(H. Bedford-Jones, This Writing Business, 1929)


Leave a comment

Cursed by the pharaohs

md22104412845I tried.
No really, I tried.
I took the afternoon off, a nice bowl of tea, and I attacked Curse of the Pharaohs, the book about Tutankhamen’s curse I had found at a free giveaway a few months back – you’ll remember I posted about it.

Considering I am currently sketching an Egypt-related project – plus of course the Aculeo & Amunet and Contubernium stories, and the idea of re-playing Masks of Nyarlathotep… all this considered, a nice afternoon reading about Egyptian curses looked like a nice way to have fun and do research at the same time.

But what the heck… Continue reading