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Welcome All Book Lovers

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Woman Who Would Be King by Kara Cooney

An engrossing biography of the longest-reigning female pharaoh in Ancient Egypt and the story of her audacious rise to power in a man’s world.

Hatshepsut, the daughter of a general who took Egypt's throne without status as a king’s son and a mother with ties to the previous dynasty, was born into a privileged position of the royal household. Married to her brother, she was expected to bear the sons who would legitimize the reign of her father’s family. Her failure to produce a male heir was ultimately the twist of fate that paved the way for her inconceivable rule as a cross-dressing king. At just twenty, Hatshepsut ascended to the rank of king in an elaborate coronation ceremony that set the tone for her spectacular twenty-two year reign as co-regent with Thutmose III, the infant king whose mother Hatshepsut out-maneuvered for a seat on the throne. Hatshepsut was a master strategist, cloaking her political power plays with the veil of piety and sexual expression. Just as women today face obstacles from a society that equates authority with masculinity, Hatshepsut had to shrewdly operate the levers of a patriarchal system to emerge as Egypt's second female pharaoh.

Hatshepsut had successfully negotiated a path from the royal nursery to the very pinnacle of authority, and her reign saw one of Ancient Egypt’s most prolific building periods. Scholars have long speculated as to why her images were destroyed within a few decades of her death, all but erasing evidence of her rule. Constructing a rich narrative history using the artifacts that remain, noted Egyptologist Kara Cooney offers a remarkable interpretation of how Hatshepsut rapidly but methodically consolidated power—and why she fell from public favor just as quickly. The Woman Who Would Be King traces the unconventional life of an almost-forgotten pharaoh and explores our complicated reactions to women in power.@goodreads




I had no idea Hatshepsut was a KING! That is just so cool! She was the first woman to have a long term as a King! I know I shouldn't say this in a review, but I used to always say I want to be King and my friends would say don't you mean Queen and I'm like.. no... KING! So this is really cool to find out. See what all you find out when you read just about everything out there!

Some of the things went over my head a little in the book. And the author wrote a lot like this may have happened, but she clearly states in the preface there isn't a whole lot of records etc. She did have a ton of notes in the back where she got some information so that was cool.

Hatshepsut's immediate family were some of the most important people in Egypt, her dad was Thutmose I and her mother Ahmes.

I got the heebie jeebies a little bit reading about children having sex or marrying their fathers, but that was normal over there.

There is like a whole section talking about how they were infected with many diseases and parasites and such in Egypt. I mean, the things you learn, seriously! Here is a section of the book talking about some of it:

The ancient Egyptians knew that infested water was the cause of many maladies, so elites in the palace relied on wine and beer; distilled or processed products killed worms and fleas along with their larvae. The flip side, of course, was that the palace population spent day after day in a constant state of low-level intoxication.

Babies didn't make it very good over there either. If a baby made it to three years of age, weaning was the next danger zone.

But Hatshepsut survived, beating the odds facing all Egyptian children, many of whom would have perished before the age of five.

After her father died, Hatshepsut married her brother, Thutmose II and had a baby girl with him and maybe more, they don't know. She was still alive when he died. She then started making plans to become King. Her young half brother became King as a little child and she signed on as co-King. She basically did everything and became named King. She did a lot of amazing things and when Thutmose III became a man he did all of the war campaigns.

When Hatshepsut died around the age of 40, Thutmose III suddenly started more war campaigns and tearing down all of her monuments and stuff. I guess he figured he didn't want anything of hers around any more.

It was really cool reading about Hatshepsut even though they don't know a lot to be recorded. I enjoyed the book.


*I would like to thank BLOGGING FOR BOOKS for this print book in exchange for my honest review.*





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