Egyptologists’ Notebooks

My NEW book, Egyptologists’ Notebooks will be published by Thames & Hudson on 1 October 2020.

It’s currently available for pre-order via and Blackwells or, if you prefer to buy your books via a local bookshop, via Hive.

02915 200dpi

Notebooks will be published by Getty Publications in North America (pre-order from or from your local books shop via Bookshop); further editions will be published elsewhere in the world – I’ll post details in due course.

The writing and research for this one kept me busy for most of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 and I can’t wait for you to read it. Getting to see at first hand some of the unpublished sketches, notes, letters and other documents relating to the Egyptologists featured in the book was a great thrill and privilege and I’m really excited to be able to share some of it with you (if also frustrated that I couldn’t include more – there’s so much great stuff!). I’m planning to post a few photos and to write a longer intro about the book and the research in due course – stay tuned – but for now, here’s what the publisher, Thames & Hudson, says:

For centuries the beguiling ancient ruins of Egypt have provided an endless source of fascination for explorers, antiquarians, treasure hunters and archaeologists. All, from the very earliest travellers, were entranced by the beauty and majesty of the landscape: the remains of tombs cut into the natural rock of hillsides and the temples and cities gently consumed by drift sand. These early adventurers were gripped by the urge to capture what they had seen in writings, sketches, paintings and photographs.

While it was always the scholars – the Egyptologists – who were in charge, they depended on architects, artists, engineers and photographers. Yet when we think of Petrie, we think of Sir William Matthew Flinders, not of his wife Hilda. Only through reading their diaries and letters has it come to be realized how important she and other partners were. Similarly the role played by Egyptian workers, digging on archaeological projects and maintaining relations with the local landowners, is only just coming to be appreciated.

Egyptologists’ Notebooks brings together the work – reproduced in its original form – of the many people who contributed to our understanding of ancient Egypt, offering a glimpse into a very different history of Egyptology. They evoke a rich sense of time and place, transporting us back to a great age of discovery.

Table of Contents

Introduction: These Rough Notes • An Untouched Antique Land: Athanasius Kircher; George Sandys; Frederik Ludwig Norden; Richard Pococke • Artists, Expeditions and Nationalist Competition: Dominique Vivant Denon; Pascal Xavier Coste; Frédéric Cailliaud; William John Bankes; James Burton; Edward William Lane; Robert Hay; Jean-François Champollion; Nestor l’Hôte; John Gardner Wilkinson; Hector Horeau; Karl Richard Lepsius • Archaeology Begins: Giovanni Battista Belzoni; Jean-Jaques Rifaud; Joseph Hekekyan; Luigi Vassalli; Tombs, Mummies and Treasure; Amelia Edwards; W. M. F. Petrie; Marianne Brocklehurst; Victor Loret; Percy Newberry; Howard Carter; Norman & Nina de Garis Davies • Temples, Towns and Cities: George Andrew Reisner; Ernesto Schiaparelli; Hassan Effendi Hosni; John Pendlebury; Walter Bryan Emery