The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned

The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned

by Anne Rice

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Anne Rice, bestselling author of The Vampire Chronicles, now delves into the mysterious legend of the mummy in this original and poetic tale of romance and horror.

It begins in the early 1900's when archaeologist Lawrence Stratford discovers a perfectly preserved mummy in a tomb in Cairo. Little does he know that the mummy, one Ramses the Great, a.k.a. Ramses the Damned, has consumed an extraordinary potion that makes him immortal; only the powerful rays of the sun are needed to bring him to life. Transported to London, the mummy dispenses with his wrap and takes on a human guise. As Reginald Ramsey, he immediately captures the heart of Stratford's daughter, Julie, who is privy to his unnatural secret but can't resist his stunning good looks. All goes well until Reginald comes across Cleopatra, his long-lost love, under glass in a museum. Unable to bear the sight of this once-glorious Queen now on gruesome display, he decides to bring her back to life...a decision he will live forever-to regret.

The ancient world collides with the modern one in Anne Rice's richly erotic yet sentimental love story that resonates with the macabre.

Michael York made his film debut in 1966 opposite Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Taming Of The Shrew. The well-known actor has since appeared in many movies, including Cabaret and Murder on the Orient Express. His extensive television credits include the CBS miniseries SPACE, an ABC After School Special Are You My Mother? for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award, and a series of guest appearance on CBS's Knots Landing.

Other Anne Rice titles available as Random House AudioBooks: Interview With The Vampire and The Queen Of The Damned

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345369949
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/1991
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 118,695
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.85(h) x 1.07(d)

About the Author

Anne Rice is the author of thirty-two books. She lives in Palm Desert, California.


Rancho Mirage, California

Date of Birth:

October 4, 1941

Place of Birth:

Rancho Mirage, California


B.A., San Francisco State University, 1964; M.A., 1971

Read an Excerpt

THE CAMERA flashes blinded him for a moment. If only he could get the photographers away.
But they had been at his side for months now—ever since the first artifacts had been found in these barren hills, south of Cairo. It was as if they too had known. Something about to happen. After all these years, Lawrence Stratford was on to a major find.
And so they were there with the cameras, and the smoking flashes. They almost knocked him off balance as he made his way into the narrow rough-hewn passage towards the letters visible on the half-uncovered marble door.
The twilight seemed to darken suddenly. He could see the letters, but he couldn’t make them out.
“Samir,” he cried. “I need light.”
“Yes, Lawrence.” At once the torch exploded behind him, and in a flood of yellow illumination, the slab of stone was wonderfully visible. Yes, hieroglyphs, deeply etched and beautifully gilded, and in Italian marble. He had never seen such a sight.
He felt the hot silky touch of Samir’s hand on his as he began to read aloud:
“ ‘Robbers of the Dead, Look away from this tomb lest you wake its occupant, whose wrath cannot be contained. Ramses the Damned is my name.’ ”
He glanced at Samir. What could it mean?
“Go on, Lawrence, translate, you are far quicker than I am,” Samir said.
“ ‘Ramses the Damned is my name. Once Ramses the Great of Upper and Lower Egypt; Slayer of the Hittites, Builder of Temples; Beloved of the People; and immortal guardian of the kings and queens of Egypt throughout time. In the year of the death of the Great Queen Cleopatra, as Egypt becomes a Roman province, I commit myself to eternal darkness; beware, all those who would let the rays of the sun pass through this door.’ ”
“But it makes no sense,” Samir whispered. “Ramses the Great ruled one thousand years before Cleopatra.”
“Yet these are nineteenth-dynasty hieroglyphs without question,” Lawrence countered. Impatiently, he scratched away at the loose rubble. “And look, the inscription’s repeated—in Latin and in Greek.” He paused, then quickly read the last few Latin lines.
“ ‘Be Warned: I sleep as the earth sleeps beneath the night sky or the winter’s snow; and once awakened, I am servant to no man.’ ”
For a moment Lawrence was speechless, staring at the words he’d read. Only vaguely did he hear Samir:
“I don’t like it. Whatever it means, it’s a curse.”
Reluctantly Lawrence turned and saw that Samir’s suspicion had turned to fear.
“The body of Ramses the Great is in the Cairo Museum,” Samir said impatiently.
“No,” Lawrence answered. He was aware of a chill moving slowly up his neck. “There’s a body in the Cairo Museum, but it’s not Ramses! Look at the cartouches, the seal! There was no one in the time of Cleopatra who could even write the ancient hieroglyphs. And these are perfect—and done like the Latin and the Greek with infinite care.”
Oh, if only Julie were here, Lawrence thought bitterly. His daughter, Julie, was afraid of nothing. She would understand this moment as no one else could.
He almost stumbled as he backed out of the passage, waving the photographers out of his path. Again, the flashes went off around him. Reporters rushed towards the marble door.
“Get the diggers back to work,” Lawrence shouted. “I want the passage cleared down to the threshold. I’m going into that tomb tonight.”
“Lawrence, take your time with this,” Samir cautioned. “There is something here which must not be dismissed.”
“Samir, you astonish me,” Lawrence answered. “For ten years we’ve been searching these hills for just such a discovery. And no one’s touched that door since it was sealed two thousand years ago.”
Almost angrily, he pushed past the reporters who caught up with him now, and tried to block the way. He needed the quiet of his tent until the door was uncovered; he needed his diary, the only proper confidant for the excitement he felt. He was dizzy suddenly from the long day’s heat.
“No questions now, ladies and gentlemen,” Samir said politely. As he always did, Samir came between Lawrence and the real world.
Lawrence hurried down the uneven path, twisting his ankle a little painfully, yet continuing, his eyes narrow as he looked beyond the flickering torches at the sombre beauty of the lighted tents under the violet evening sky.
Only one thing distracted him before he reached the safety zone of his camp chair and desk: a glimpse of his nephew, Henry, watching idly from a short distance away. Henry, so uncomfortable and out of place in Egypt; looking miserable in his fussy white linen suit. Henry, with the inevitable glass of Scotch in his hand, and the inevitable cheroot on his lip.
Undoubtedly the belly dancer was with him—the woman, Malenka, from Cairo, who gave her British gentleman all the money she made.
Lawrence could never entirely forget about Henry, but having Henry underfoot now was more than he could bear.
In a life well lived, Lawrence counted Henry as his only true disappointment—the nephew who cared for no one and nothing but gaming tables and the bottle; the sole male heir to the Stratford millions who properly couldn’t be trusted with a one-pound note.
Sharp pain again as he missed Julie—his beloved daughter, who should have been here with him, and would have been if her young fiancé hadn’t persuaded her to stay at home.
Henry had come to Egypt for money. Henry had company papers for Lawrence to sign. And Henry’s father, Randolph, had sent him on this grim mission, desperate as always to cover his son’s debts.
A fine pair they are, Lawrence thought grimly—the ne’er-do-well and the chairman of the board of Stratford Shipping who clumsily funneled the company’s profits into his son’s bottomless purse.
But in a very real way Lawrence could forgive his brother, Randolph, anything. Lawrence hadn’t merely given the family business to Randolph. He had dumped it on Randolph, along with all its immense pressures and responsibilities, so that he, Lawrence, could spend his remaining years digging among the Egyptian ruins he so loved.
And to be perfectly fair, Randolph had done a tolerable job of running Stratford Shipping. That is, until his son had turned him into an embezzler and a thief. Even now, Randolph would admit everything if confronted. But Lawrence was too purely selfish for that confrontation. He never wanted to leave Egypt again for the stuffy London offices of Stratford Shipping. Not even Julie could persuade him to come home.
And now Henry stood there waiting for his moment. And Lawrence denied him that moment, entering the tent and eagerly pulling his chair up to the desk. He took out a leather-bound diary which he had been saving, perhaps for this discovery. Hastily he wrote what he remembered of the door’s inscription and the questions it posed.
“Ramses the Damned.” He sat back, looking at the name. And for the first time he felt just a little of the foreboding which had shaken Samir.
What on earth could all this mean?

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The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 139 reviews.
muktownmomma More than 1 year ago
Anne Rice maybe known for the Vampire Lestat, but this was beautifully written and well worth the read. You will find yourself imagining the main character as Antonio Banderas with piercing blue eyes. I found myself drawn into the story and feeling empathy for the reanimated / non dead. I don't recommend books converted to film as they are usually butchered by screen writers/ directors/producers or bad acting- this is one I would like to see come to the screen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoy all of Anne Rice books, but this book is at the top of my list. You fall in love with this man. I can wait for the sequel. I have given this book to so many people and they all love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't suggest this as a person's first Anne Rice book--my recommendations would be Servant of the Bones, Cry to Heaven, or Interview with the Vampire. The Mummy is a very light book. Yes, the themes of immortality and its consequences are still there, but this story is nowhere near as dark as her other books. The other books are more Gothic in nature, while this could almost be called a romance novel. Having said that, the characters are good, and I enjoyed the plot. What made this go from four stars to three was the cliffhanger ending. Note to authors: you do not need a cliffhanger ending to ensure that people will keep buying your books. If your writing is good enough and the story is compelling, people will read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg, where do I begin. I own two copies of this book; have read them at least 5 times. I.LOVE.THIS.BOOK. I absolutely love ancient Egyptian history and was very excited to discover this book years ago. I hadn't seen anyone use the subject in fiction writing before, and this book was everything I could dream this kind of work should be. Exciting, mysterious, electrifying, sexy, captivating, smart, hypnotizing, alluring, all around FANTASTIC! I believe this is one of the best books ever written. I recommend this book to EVERYONE. Thank you Anne Rice for a phenominal peace of brilliance.
miss_dobie More than 1 year ago
Anne Rice really hit one out of the park with this story! "The Mummy" is totally captivating from page one right through to "THE END." It is heartwarming, it is thrilling, it is exciting, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. Extremely hard to put down; you just want to keep reading. One of the most amazing stories I have ever read and the lady has a totally beautiful writing style, too. If you like thrillers, if you like mysteries, if you like romances, if you like a little bit of history and travel, this is THE book to read next. Hopefully, there will be a sequel to this marvelous story one day!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Mummy. We all watched it growing up. The book begins in Egypt in the 1920's with an archeologist on a dig south of Cario where they come across a great tomb and written upon it in three different languages dating thousands of years apart is a warning/curse that to disturb this tomb will wake it's occupents whose wrath cannot be contained. This is the resting places of 'Ramses the Damned'. We learn that Ramses ingested an immortality elixir which he took from the Hittites. Having grown tired, he sleeps for 1000 years when Cleopatra awakes him. He, of course, is in love with her, as were all the great men of the time. He offers her immortality, but instead she opts for sucide instead of being taken as a prisoner to Rome. He awakes in London almost 2000 years later. Ramses exhibits human natures and qualities and falls in love. Though he is enjoying his lofe, Ramses feels that he must avenge the death of the man that found his tomb and he must say to Egypt before he can start a new life. But while in Egypt he finds the body of his one true love. Read the book to find out what happens. This book is not your normal mummy story. I would have rated it 5 stars; but the ending is a bit open, suggesting a sequel.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Lawrence Stratford, wealthy London business man and prominent Egyptologist, has made the find of a lifetime: the tomb of a mummy, filled with Greek and Roman artifacts, but filled with scrolls that proclaim him to be Ramses II, the Pharaoh who had ruled 1000 years earlier. Ramses claims in these scrolls to be immortal - an eternal wanderer, teacher, and lover of Cleopatra - and that he is not dead, but merely sleeping beneath his mummy wrappings. However, Lawrence is murdered before he is able to truly investigate his discovery, and the mummy travels to London, to Lawrence's daughter, Julie. She's charmed by the story, but doesn't really believe it - until she sees the mummy come to life to save her from the same fate as her father. She's overwhelmed by Ramses - immortal as he claimed, intelligent, gorgeous, charming, and every inch a king - and is soon swept up in showing him the wonders of the early 20th century, even while trying to protect his secret from those who desire immortality for themselves. Unsurprisingly, she falls hopelessly in love with him, a love that can only be fully returned once Ramses has put his past behind him. But as they travel through modern-day Egypt, his memories of the past, and of his lost love threaten to engulf Ramses... and then a chance discovery at the Cairo Museum will lead him to commit an unspeakable act, one whose horrific consequences will resonate through the rest of eternity.Review: I read this book so many times as a teen that it's impossible for me to give it a clear-headed evaluation now. While I can't tell how I would have reacted to it if this had been my first read-through (or even my tenth read-through), I was still able to pick out the things that kept me coming back time and time again. Anne Rice is a whiz at evoking historical periods, and her portrayal of colonial Egypt is no exception. The romance is epic and sweeping - hard to get any more epic when a literal eternity hangs in the balance. The characters are recognizable and multi-layered, and intensely sympathetic; it also doesn't hurt that Ramses is a hugely attractive leading man. Finally, Rice effectively plays on the horror conventions of her story on multiple levels - both in the straightforward horror-movie "the mummy walks!" way, but also in a more subtle way, when the characters and the reader are forced to contemplate the horrors of true immortality. There were also a few things that I picked up on that probably would have annoyed me if this had been my first time reading the book. Rice is a fan of switching her POV character every few paragraphs, which is admittedly effective at moving the story along, but which I think is overused here, making the narrative seem a little jumpy. The main conflict also doesn't really show up until halfway through the book; the first part doesn't ever feel like it's dragging, but there is a somewhat abrupt shift. Finally, I wasn't quite as caught up in the romance this time around as I was half a lifetime ago; although Ramses was definitely still crush-worthy, I found him a wee bit whinier than I remembered. But honestly, none of these things really mattered; I still enjoyed the heck out of this book - maybe not quite as much as I did when I was fourteen, but definitely enough to let it keep its place on my "favorites" shelf. 5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Is this one of Anne Rice's best books? No. Is it a thoroughly entertaining story? Yes. Is my current love for it based primarily on my fondness for it as a teen? Probably. Do I still think that anyone who likes books set in Egypt or fans of historical romance Gothic horror novels should give it a try? Absolutely!
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my all time favorite romances.
Anagarika-Sean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mrs. Rice has done a lot better. Okay story.
nm.fall09.h.hiltz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
ok I didnt completely finish, actually I just started the book so im no exactly sure what its all about. Well obviously its about a mummy but I cant go into detail. Anne Rice has been one of my favorite Authors because most of her books have a scarry theme to them. People who love horror should give this book a try. I really like the book so far!
bookswamp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the best and most eintertaining Old Egypt fictions, where gods and kings and queens reawakened to immortality undergo unbelievable adventures. A pity Mrs. rice never found the time for the promised sequel - it would have been too interesting what became of Ramses and Cleopatra or of Ramses and his mortal love, Julie Stratford.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I've had a love/hate relationship with Anne Rice's books. I loathed Interview with a Vampire, but people kept telling me to try more, and so I did, and each book I liked a little better. Mind you, I've only read the first half dozen or so of her vampire chronicles (and of course the Sleeping Beauty books), so the recent controversies don't come into the equation yet.Surprisingly, The Mummy is more like a paranormal romance than a horror novel, and probably would have been shelved in the romance section if not for two things: 1) it was written in 1989, before paranormal romance became a hot genre, and 2) it's by Anne Rice, and she's known for horror, so that's where it goes.Julie Stratford's father was an archaeologist. Shortly after he discovered the mummy of Ramses II (Ramses the Damned), he was murdered by his nephew Henry.Back in London, Henry tries the same trick on Julie so he can gain control of the family fortune, but Ramses comes to life and stops him.Ramses is immortal because of an elixir, but he can also lie dormant for a time. It just takes sunlight to awaken him.Julie and Ramses fall in love, and there are quite a few light-hearted scenes with them trying to explain his sudden presence and to prevent word from leaking out about the mummy come to life. The romance is complicated by Ramses's betrayal by his first love, Cleopatra, and by Julie's assumed betrothal to Alex, whose father, coincidentally, is the one man who has figured out who Ramses is and is determined to get his hands on the elixir.There's also quite a lot of serious reflection about immortality. Rice had obviously given the subject a lot of thought (unsurprising, since she'd written about angsty immortals before), and the descriptions of the elixir's effects were very dramatic and believable--what happens, for example, if you use the elixir on crops? The subject comes to a head when Ramses finds Cleopatra's mummy and despite his misgivings, uses the elixir to restore what ends up being a murderous fiend.One of my favorite things about this book is the ending. It's also a rather open-ended... er... ending. Whether that's to leave room for a sequel, or just to allow the reader's imagination to continue the story, I'm not sure. I suppose I'll look it up eventually.
bwookie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An easy, fun read--but it didn't really grab me like I was hoping it would. For one thing, Julie--the heroine is incredible boring and Alex? Zzzzzzz.The side/supportive characters are where it's at. Elliott, Henry, Ramses and Cleopatra--and Cleopatra is awesome-Personally, I think a better story would have been Ramses and Cleopatra during Cleopatra's time.Definitely worth reading if you like Anne Rice or ancient Egypt.
sdtaylor555 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not incredible, but entertaining. I liked it.
Calissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book because I¿d read Interview With A Vampire and wasn¿t that fussed. I thought I¿d give Anne Rice a second chance by picking something completely unrelated.Julie Stratford¿s archaeologist father uncovers the tomb of Ramses the Great, a pharaoh said to be immortal. The archaeologist is promptly murdered and the mummy shipped to Julie in early 20th Century England. Ramses revives in time to save Julie from being similarly murdered and the pair fall in love. The remainder of the book is spent introducing Ramses to modern times and keeping the elixir that rendered him immortal from falling into the wrong hands.I can¿t say that I was all that fussed on this book either. It started out well, but there seemed to be no real depth to the characters. They appeared to be more driven by the story rather than the other way around. Nor did they seem to grow at all, unless you count Alex becoming more cynical or Julie becoming more and more the helpless female. Ramses obsession with Cleopatra seemed forced, considering he was supposed to be in love with Julie.The ending was disappointing, with no real resolution at all. It actually left me wondering whether there was supposed to be a sequel, there were so many loose ends.All in all, not my cup of tea. It wouldn¿t surprise me, though, if it went through a bit of a revival with Twilight being such a big hit and the current surge in popularity that paranormal romance is undergoing.
BrendanCarroll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good way to introduce weird romance into the life of a vicious mummy murderer.
melancholycat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Classic Anne Rice, excellent novel. My only complaint was that the killing rampage was a little much. I think that is more about personal taste, though. And I liked that it was a little naughtier than the Interview with a Vampire Chronicles. I can't tell, but did she right a sequel to this particular novel, or does it stand alone?
jcmontgomery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a book highly recommended. It¿s also the first Anne Rice I¿ve ever read.After finishing this novel, I¿m don¿t feel it¿s representative of her best work.Not that it¿s that bad. The beginning popped for me and I was thoroughly engrossed in the story and characters. Bascially, this is a love story between a mummy brought to live and the daughter of the man who freed him from his tomb.Sounds¿unique. And it is. But to a point.By the time Ramses and his modern love Julie return to Egypt, I was a little peeved at the way some of the characters and their storyline were being handled. Not to mention feeling that some of the subplots were more distracting than they should have been.I had to remind myself I¿m not reading a piece of literature that requires such scrutiny. In letting go of these prejudices, I did enjoy the read more, but not enough to post a rave review about it.The last part of the book, just couldn¿t keep me page turning like I did in the beginning.I can see why she¿s a popular writer and I look forward to reading the Mayfair witch series. I also cannot wait to finally read Interview With A Vampire.So this wasn¿t a bad introduction and I¿m crossing my fingers I learn to like Anne Rice as much as her fans. I see the potential, but time will tell.
mramos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Mummy. We all watched it growing up. The book begins in Egypt in the 1920's with an archeologist on a dig south of Cario where they come across a great tomb and written upon it in three different languages dating thousands of years apart is a warning/curse that to disturb this tomb will wake it's occupents whose wrath cannot be contained. This is the resting places of "Ramses the Damned". We learn that Ramses ingested an immortality elixir which he took from the Hittites. Having grown tired, he sleeps for 1000 years when Cleopatra awakes him. He, of course, is in love with her, as were all the great men of the time. He offers her immortality, but instead she opts for sucide instead of being taken as a prisoner to Rome. He awakes in London almost 2000 years later. Ramses exhibits human natures and qualities and falls in love. Though he is enjoying his lofe, Ramses feels that he must avenge the death of the man that found his tomb and he must say to Egypt before he can start a new life. But while in Egypt he finds the body of his one true love. Read the book to find out what happens. This book is not your normal mummy story. I would have rated it 5 stars; but the ending is a bit open, suggesting a sequel.
Mendoza on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Totally unfair that someone already likened this to a rehash of a boris karloff plot. I thought the same thing! Although not with such negative leanings.I think that The Mummy comes as close to a romance as Rice is likely to get. And I think what adds to the story for me is that it takes place during the Edwardian Era. Wealthy shipping-magnate-turned-archeologist, Lawrence Stratford, discovers an unusual tomb. The "mummy" inside, in its left-behind notes, claims to be the famed pharaoh Ramses II, despite the tomb's dating only to the first century B.C. (the historical Ramses II died in 1224 B.C.). Unfortunately, Lawrence unexpectedly falls dead (well, not of natural causes), and while a curse is thought to be the cause, the mummy and other belongings are shipped off to London, placed on temporary display in Lawrence's house before they are taken by the British Museum. And the story takes up from there.This book is less of an Anne Rice horror novel and more of a Edwardian era romance with Egypt, archaeology, murder and mummies coming to life thrown in. It's escapist fantasy: a contemporary twist on your parents' mummy tale with some alchemy mixed in.
nesum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not a bad novel, but not a good one either. I'm not sure what Rice was trying to accomplish here, truthfully. Was this supposed to be scary? It failed miserably if it was. A love story? That seems to be more likely, but instead of love what we really got was magic masquerading as love. Was she just trying to tell a good story? Well, the plot really wasn't that good. It had elements of all these things, but succeeding in none of them.
AlexTheHunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This read very much like a rehash of the plot of the Karloff movie. While that's not entirely bad, one just wonders why that needed to be written again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anne Rice always delivers exquisite books and yet again she didn’t disappoint!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of her stories whisk you away to the time and place of her stories. There isn't a story she can't tell or make you fall in love with. I read this story years ago & with talk of a sequel just had to revisit. It was just as good this time 'round. You won't be disappointed. Promise.