“Lovely...delightfully mixes fact with Amelia’s fictional world and brings insight to both.”
Fans of Peters's bestselling series featuring Amelia Peabody Emerson and her family (Crocodile on the Sandbank, etc.) will welcome this companion volume, which entertainingly blurs fact and fiction. In her role as "editor" of Mrs. Emerson's journals, Peters provides a preface, while other contributors supply articles on the historical and cultural background of Egyptology. (Typical is "`Lesser Breeds without the Law': An Insightful Diatribe on the Victorian Attitude Towards Other Cultures & Peoples," by Barbara Mertz, the real name of the pseudonymous Peters, who has a Ph.D. in the subject.) One section, "The People of the Journals," straightfacedly presents period photographs of the members of the extended Emerson clan. Filled with black-and-white illustrations of people and places (credit for the design goes to Egyptophile Dennis Forbes), this attractive book both informs and enchants. The jacket art of three Victorian ladies inspecting a temple fits the tone of the text perfectly. (On sale Oct. 21) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Amelia Peabody Emerson, the heroine of 15 mystery books by Peters, is a redoubtable Victorian lady who sleuths while working on archaeological digs in Egypt. This colorful compendium of essays, photographs, and drawings provides a closer look into the world of this character, thus serving as a useful tool not only for devoted readers but for the uninitiated as well. The first part of the book offers historical essays on Egyptology; the second, cultural essays on everything from Islamic art and architecture to the duties of Victorian servants; and the third, reference tools that blend fact and fiction, including a name index to the myriad characters in the novels and indexes for true historical figures and place names. Peters, a pseudonym of Barbara Mertz (Egyptology, Univ. of Chicago), contributes an essay on Victorian attitudes toward other cultures, while Barbara Michaels (Mertz's pseudonym for Gothic romances) contributes an essay on Victorian popular fiction. Beautifully designed by Dennis Forbes and lavishly illustrated with 600 period engravings and black-and-white photographs, this delightful book is essential for public libraries and any library with an intelligent leisure-reading collection. [For more information about the Amelia Peabody series, go to www.ameliapeabody.com.-Ed.]-Alison M. Lewis, Drexel Univ. Lib., Philadelphia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.