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Dr David Ganges' new book Dialogues with the Dead shows, for the first time, how Egyptology's development over the century that followed the decipherment of the hieroglyphic script in 1822 can be understood only through its intimate entanglement with the historical, scientific, and religious contentions which defined the era.

Dialogues with the Dead book cover

Almost every great figure in nineteenth-century Britain, from Thomas Carlyle to William Gladstone to Charles Darwin, read histories of ancient Egypt and argued about their content. Egypt became a focal point in disputes over the nature of human origins, the patterns underlying human history, the status and purpose of the Bible, and the cultural role of the classics. Egyptian archaeology ingrained its influence everywhere from the lecture halls of the ancient universities to the devotional aids of rural Sunday schools, and the plots of sensation fiction. The only history of nineteenth-century Egyptology to take account of the discipline's historical context.

  • One of the first volumes to analyse the relationship between Egyptology and religion
  • Integrates the history of Egyptology with the reception history of other ancient cultures
  • More information: Oxford University Press