Friday, October 24, 2014

Woman in charge.

Review: The Woman Who Would be King, by Kara Cooney, PhD

I have a life-long fascination with Egyptian history. I tried learning to write in hieroglyphs during middle school, and read the stories of the gods and pharaohs. Hatshepsut was always intriguing, and the fact that there were attempts to completely erase any knowledge of her existence from history attests to the strong patriarchal dominance of Egypt at that time.
Although the author is a highly trained Egyptologist, she truly had to use her imagination to try and portray what may have convinced Hatshepsut to declare herself a pharaoh, and to openly rule in a time when women were relegated to the background. She has studied the source materials, yet speculates frequently. Her scholarship is obvious from the notes and bibliographic material in the back.
I would have preferred an actual novel based on her work. In fact, I would recommend to the author that she use this non-fiction work, and all the research she did to write a novelized version. It would be fascinating.
If she uses this depth of detail in the classes she teaches, her students are probably as fascinated as she is.