The Woman Who Would Be King

The Woman Who Would Be King

Hatshepsut's Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt

eBook - 2014
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An engrossing biography of the longest-reigning female pharaoh in Ancient Egypt and the story of her audacious rise to power. Hatshepsut'the daughter of a general who usurped Egypt's throne and a mother with ties to the previous dynasty'was born into a privileged position of the royal household, and she was expected to bear the sons who would legitimize the reign of her father's family. Her failure to produce a male heir was ultimately the twist of fate that paved the way for her improbable rule as a cross-dressing king. At just over twenty, Hatshepsut ascended to the rank of pharaoh in an elaborate coronation ceremony that set the tone for her spectacular reign as co-regent with Thutmose III, the infant king whose mother Hatshepsut out-maneuvered for a seat on the throne. Hatshepsut was a master strategist, cloaking her political power plays in the veil of piety and sexual reinvention. Just as women today face obstacles from a society that equates authority with masculinity, Hatshepsut shrewdly operated the levers of power to emerge as Egypt's second female pharaoh. Hatshepsut had successfully negotiated a path from the royal nursery to the very pinnacle of authority, and her reign saw one of Ancient Egypt's most prolific building periods. Scholars have long speculated as to why her monuments were destroyed within a few decades of her death, all but erasing evidence of her unprecedented rule. Constructing a rich narrative history using the artifacts that remain, noted Egyptologist Kara Cooney offers a remarkable interpretation of how Hatshepsut rapidly but methodically consolidated power'and why she fell from public favor just as quickly. The Woman Who Would Be King traces the unconventional life of an almost-forgotten pharaoh and explores our complicated reactions to women in power. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Crown, 2014
ISBN: 9780307956781
0307956784
9780307956767
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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l
larters
Feb 21, 2017

A fascinating account of Hatshepsut's rise to power and reign, written in an engaging narrative style. It does depend heavily on extrapolation, since the historical record is limited, however the book's strength is its humanization of its subject, and the insight into everyday life in ancient Egypt. Well worth a read!

t
taylorwoods
Feb 17, 2017

While I am no historian, I thought Kara Cooney researched and presented Hatshepsut in a fantastic manner. Would I recommend this one to the everyday reader? Heck no- it's very lengthy in descriptions, names upon names, and can be dull at moments. Did I remember everything that I learned and read? No, I honestly didn't- I'm pretty sure a lot went over my head, but I am glad I now have a better understanding who this female King was. I now have even another reason to visit Egypt one day!

b
Basileus
Feb 27, 2015

Fascinating biography of one of history's more mysterious figures. This book tells the tale of Hatshepsut, the first female King of ancient Egypt and traces her journey from King's daughter, to Queen and finally to her assumption of Kingly powers. Also offers a plausible reason why her name was erased from contemporary records. Well written and thought provoking.

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