Book Review: Nefertiti: Egypt’s Sun Queen by Joyce Tyldesley

This is the first in another series I’m going to do: Book/Movie/Music Reviews. I’m not really an expert, but it’ll be fun.

            Joyce Tyldesley’s book, Nefertiti: Egypt’s Sun Queen is an excellent book to read. Tyldesley had a great understanding of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, and she was able to distinguish her opinions from the facts. Her explanations of Egyptian customs and philosophy were easy to comprehend, and she also made sure her audience understood her style of writing.

Tyldesley took a chronological approach to her book, but when many things were happening at once, she switched to thematic. This made the story easy to follow and kept readers from becoming confused by all the odd names that they hadn’t seen before.

As expected, Tyldesley cited many sources and used archaeological data to support her arguments. When discussing any theory, she stressed that there was no clear answer, but she gave solid evidence against those she thought improbable and for those she found the most likely. The main purpose that Tyldesley had in mind was to show that in order to fully understand Nefertiti and her life, one had to learn about the time she lived and the man she had married. A second, minor purpose she had was to clear away the assumptions of archaeologists who had initially placed speculations on Nefertiti before any real evidence was found.

There aren’t that many books on Nefertiti (that I know of), and Joyce Tyldesley has written many other books concerning figures of Egypt. Her knowledge about ancient Egyptians makes her a valuable and trustworthy source on anything Egyptian, and the fact that she has written so much shows her dedication to the topic.

Joyce Tyldesley began each chapter of the book with firsthand account from ancient Egypt, usually a proclamation. This sets the scene and mood of the chapter so that she can simply write information without having to lead into it too much. Her writing is witty, which keeps the reader from feeling like he is being lectured on the topic.

In conclusion, if you’re a history nut like me and enjoy reading biographies, I would recommend this book.


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