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His Majesty, Queen Hatshepsut

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Overview

To be born Egyptian is immense fortune.

Hatshepsut, a thirteen-year-old Egyptian princess, doesn't feet that she is entirely fortunate. After all, she is a girl. She grumbles about taking lessons with her brothers. Why should she study reading and writing, literature, history, and mathematics? As a princess, she will never need to be skilled at these things.
But Hatshepsut little knows what life has in store for her. She will need to know all ...

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Overview

To be born Egyptian is immense fortune.

Hatshepsut, a thirteen-year-old Egyptian princess, doesn't feet that she is entirely fortunate. After all, she is a girl. She grumbles about taking lessons with her brothers. Why should she study reading and writing, literature, history, and mathematics? As a princess, she will never need to be skilled at these things.
But Hatshepsut little knows what life has in store for her. She will need to know all these things and more. By the time she is fourteen years old, she will be a wife, and shortly thereafter, a queen. The early death of her husband makes Hatshepsut Queen-Regent, ruling jointly with her husband's son — a son who is only a child, and the child of a concubine at that. Hatshepsut thrives as Queen-Regent, creating opportunities to act for the good of her people and the glory of Egypt. Yet she chafes at sharing her reign with a child. Seizing the supreme opportunity, Hatshepsut names herself Pharaoh, setting aside the young heir to the throne. She rules as King of Upper and Lower Egypt for more than twenty years.
Dorothy Sharp Carter's fictional account is based on the real life of the Pharaoh Hatshepsut. It is a fascinating story of a determined woman who defied extraordinary odds and ruled her people well,

A fictionalized account of the life of Hatshepsut, a queen in ancient Egypt who declared herself king and ruled as such for more than twenty years.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hatshepsut, whom readers first meet as a teenager, barely endures the indignities of being an Egyptian princess. She detests having creams rubbed onto her face and feet and learning to read and write. Later she has to rule as a widowed queen-regent until her late husband's son can become king; but Hatshepsut dares to presume that she is to be the next pharaoh. She seizes power and spends the next several years ruling her people and defending her right to the title. In a wry narrative voice that engages the reader completely, Carter has given this distant forerunner of feminist ``can-do'' a life-size dimension and a fact-based reality. The years of being a princess up to Hatshepsut's coronation are exquisite fun; the locale is exotic and the era bygone, but she shares the concerns of most adolescents. The story lags slightly at times, perhaps because Hatshepsut is an adult for the greater part of the book, with concerns that aren't as immediately appealing as her youth and ascendancy to the throne. But this remains thought-provoking fare. Ages 10-up. (September)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780397321797
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1987
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 870L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Year 9 of the Reignof His Majesty Thutmose I

How I detest this morning hour set aside for readying our person. It is not amusing to be readied.

Today is especially bad. Pekey, Mother's maid, who is supposed to be an artist with cosmetics, takes out all her enormous spite on me. Like a farmer with a sharp plow, she digs the comb into my scalp, raking up ridges of skin. With relish she concocts tangles which must be yanked out. Dabs kohl in my eyes. Scrubs a cleansing cream of chalk and oil into my cheeks till they sting like scorpion bites. And all the while she coos, "Ah, she is beautiful as the morning star! Such a complexion . . ." so that the serving women will believe she admires me.

Take care, Pekey. I will get even for every dig, yank, and sting, be assured. Ow! You will regret that tangle, pig.

My nurse, Henut, enters the scene, calm, unctuous. She surveys Pekey's smug face, my sulky one. Have I offered my morning's thanks to Amon-Re, she wishes to know. Gratitude unending is due from me and my brothers, the most fortunate beings in the world.

I stare at her, unblinking as a cobra. "Fortunate? Why?"

Henut swells like a pigeon, happy at the opportunity to preach. "Ah! You ask? To be born Egyptian is immense fortune. No one will argue it."

Well, of course not, everyone has that much sense.

She rattles on. "To be a member of the most powerful, beautiful, healthy country on earth. To be royalty. To belong to a great dynasty, with a father who is God-King, a mother whois Great Queen, two princes for brothers, and you yourself a princess." She stops for breath.

No more -- I know the rest by heart. I live in the finest dwelling in Egypt, the Great House; I eat delicate food, dress in elegant clothing, wear spectacular jewelry. At thirteen years of age I can do -- almost -- anything in the world I wish to do.

I consider. Possibly Henut is right. What more could I want?

Oh, I decide, a good deal more. I am not completely fortunate. After all, I am a girl.

"Not true," Henut would retort. "In Egypt the line of succession passes through women, not men."

"The line of succession is boring."

"You are easily bored," Henut says with a sigh. "And restless. Ay, you are restless."

And why not? If I were a boy I could shoot arrows and row a boat and drive a chariot and swim. One day I could be a soldier and lead men in expeditions against the vile foreigners, as my father does.

"Ow!" Pekey has wielded the pumice stone with such vigor that she draws blood. I return to the present, suck my finger, and glare. She simpers.

What do I expect? She is a slave, a Nubian princess captured in battle. From royalty to servant is a far fall, and she resents it. Nevertheless, that is not my fault. My scratched finger I add to the score I will repay. I brood. And suddenly I conceive my revenge.

Waiting until Henut has left the room, I ask in a low, confidential voice, "Why is it, Pekey, you are always sent to help with my makeup? Henut says you apply kohl much too lavishly, so that one is left looking like a dancing girl."

Pekey's face lengthens at the affront. "Now, Your Highness, I make up your own mother the Great Queen's face...."

"Using so much color on the cheeks that she appears to have a fever."

There is silence while Pekey putters with my equipment, the bronze mirror with the ivory handle, palettes of ground malachite for the eyes, ocher for the lips and cheeks, and an enormous assortment of small jars and unguent spoons. There is even a pair of boxwood containers in the form of two Asiatic maids carrying jars. They belong to Mother and hold perfumed oils.

I drum my heel on the floor. "Well, let us continue, Pekey. As is said everywhere, you work slowly. We must waste no more time."

The lesser maids are holding their breath. They look scandalized. At me or at Pekey?

"I have never heard I am slow ... Highness." Pekey is recovering.

My voice is firm and cool. "I have heard so. From superior sources." (A lie; Mother praises Pekey's technique to the skies.) "It is not a grave fault. Merely an annoying one."

Pekey does not answer. As she mixes ocher to rouge my lips, I see her fingers tremble. Ah, she begins to believe me! Now, wretch, you will suffer, you will for once doubt your skill, you will not be so sure your mistress trusts you. Indeed, I will get even for your petty persecutions.

And then ... I feel a painful, terrible remorse for hurting someone. It is always the same. I can be rude and ruthless and cruel to a person I dislike, but if he betrays his wounds, my heart shivers as though stroked by a cold knife and I despise myself.

I sigh. "It is all a joke, Pekey."

"Joke, Princess?" She massages the color into my face and neck, and her eyes will not meet mine.

"Yes, yes, it is all untrue what I said. I did it to tease you. Henut and everyone say only good things about your makeup."

Still rubbing in the grease, Pekey asks softly, "You do not like me, young mistress?"

Oh, how tiresome! Why do I ever start such silly tricks when they end so lamentably?

"Yes, I do like you, Pekey." Actually I hate her, but now I am caught like a heron in a snare. I must lie to give her comfort and to ease my guilt.

His Majesty, Queen Hatshepsut. Copyright © by Dorothy Carter. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

Prologue vii
Part 1 Princess 1
Part 2 Queen 29
Part 3 Pharaoh 89
Epilogue 243
Principal Characters and Gods 245
Afterword 247
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good read

    And very educational

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2003

    It's a GREAT book

    I love this book! It tells a lot about the life in the Egyption times. This book is a great way to find out that there once was a QUEEN that was a pharoh. And trys to become one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2003

    It is a good book

    Hatshepsut is a princess and her father Thutmose I is ruler of Egypt. He dies and he has another son, Hatshepsut's half brother. Hatshepsut does not like him but he gets married to her and becomes a pharaoh. Then he dies from his pet cat which scratched him. He has another son with a lesser wife Isis. Hatshepsut does not like her step brother, so she sends him to a school for princes. Uunfortunatly, he comes back too soon, so she send him to look over Egypt's great mines hoping he will get killed. If you read this book you will find out more in a greater detail.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2003

    good book

    This is a story about a girl that you see her grow up in the book. You will see her as a princess, Queen, Pharaoh. Hatshepsut is a brat when she was young and she stays the same way throw the book in her way. You learn a lots of egyptain ceremonies.I would recmend this book to a person that is studying Egypt or Pharaohs. But over all it was a good book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2003

    ok book

    The book was about a princess named Hatshepsut who wanted to be pharaoh.When her father and brothers died she had to marry her half brother was named Thutmose II and he was thin and pail. They had two children. Thutmose II was scratched by a cat and it got really bad. Before he died he said he wanted his son Thutmose III to be pharaoh but Hatshepsut had to be pharaoh until he is old enough. Hatshepsut ruled she had a vice pharaoh named Senmut and Hatshepsut fell in love with him. Thutmose III is old enough to become pharaoh but Hatshepsut will not give up being pharaoh. Senmut drew pictures of stautes of him in Hatshepsut's tomb. Hatshepsut found out and got really mad.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2002

    An Amazing Book of Confidence for A Young Adult Reader

    Wow! This book was extremely detailed. I just couldn't put it down. Usually I love to read about Fantasy, like Fire Bringer or Harry Potter. Egypt is left in the hands of an 11 year old boy with the Queen Mother at his right hand. Well, this independent mother of an Egyptian princess has other plans in store for Egypt. After overruling the boy and sent in exile, she takes over the throne and falls in love with an architect. But she must not trust any one because only one woman before her has taken the role of Pharoah in Egypt. This book takes us along a struggling woman's journey to prove to everyone, including her enemies, that a woman can have the power to rule a country.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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