Ever since I was a small child, I’ve had something of a love affair with Ancient Egypt. I spent hours reading books and, when that became an option, scouring the internet for information.
This love affair, such as it is, can be traced to one figure in Ancient Egyptian history. Hatshepsut.
Hatshepsut was the most well known of Ancient Egypt’s six ruling Queens. A member of the New Kingdom’s 18th dynasty, the same dynasty to which King Tut belongs, she originally came to power as regent for her stepson, Thutmose III. Her reign was one of prosperity for the nation.
To this day, she is my favorite historical figure. If I could sit down and have a chat with anyone from the past, it would be her. It was this fascination with Hatshepsut that lead me to a general fascination with the history of women in Ancient Egypt.
The average person can be forgiven for thinking women in Ancient Egypt were treated in much the same way as women in Mesopotamia, and Ancient Greece. Most don’t know much about ancient cultures like the Nomads of the Steppes and their relatively more egalitarian view of women. So it comes as no surprise that people are surprised when they find out women, at least in theory, had equal rights to men in Ancient Egypt.
She could own property and had control of her property for her entire life. She could leave her belongings to whomever she wished, including her daughter. She could call for a divorce, even be the contracting partner in a marriage contract.
But I’m rambling, let’s bring this back to the main topic of this blog. Writing. Biased though my opinion may be, I think Ancient Egypt is a fascinating time to write about. Particularly if the focus is on the life of women in Ancient Egypt or a society based off of Ancient Egypt.
To that effect, I’ve decided that my Camp NaNoWriMo project for July will be a novella or novelette about one such woman. Currently, one of the books I’m reading is The Woman Who Would Be King by Kara Conney. It reads like a well-researched and painstakingly referenced historical drama instead of a history book. If you like history, biographies, and ancient Egypt it is sure to hold you attention from the first page to the last. I’ve spent hours already just looking at the bibliography and tracking stuff down. I can think of no better place to start my research as I’ve decided my main character will be a royal or noble woman. And yes, the book is about Hatshepsut.
Reading: Between Women by Sharon Marcus
Watching: Turn: Washington’s Spies|Season 1
Listening To: Vienna Tang| My Medea
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