Red Land, Black Land

  • by Barbara Mertz
  • Narrated by Lorna Raver
  • 15 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Esteemed Egyptologist Barbara Mertz updates her widely praised social history of the people of ancient Egypt, which was originally published in 1968. Combining impeccable scholarship with a delightfully personal style, the author reconstructs the life of the Egyptians from birth to death, and beyond death, too.She also presents much fascinating detail on the building of the pyramids and the intricate art of mummification. Students and laymen alike will enjoy the wealth of authentic material on every aspect of Egyptian life that Mertz provides.

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What the Critics Say

"One can only highly recommend the book." (Natural History)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Accessible and gentle glance through time

Not everyone is going to like the style of this book. It is written (and by the way brilliantly read) very much like a knowledgeable older relative who is holding a cup of tea and chatting amiably about different aspects of Ancient Egyptian life. If you like your history delivered in sober lecture-like style then this might seem rather too friendly and relaxed, but if you just have an average interest in what it was really like to live in ancient Egypt then this book is for you. There is plenty of humour, and you could sometimes believe the author is making it up as they go along, yet I dare say there has been plenty of scholarly research behind it.

The subjects cover all aspects of life, but I was surprised when I heard chapters on pyramid building and embalming, neither of which are really much to do with ordinary life for most Egyptians. If the author has sometimes strayed into more certain if exceptional territory, then it does not dominate the book, and most of the time we learn about food, housing, social conventions and that kind of thing.

It's all very gentle and relaxed, and the reader does a superb job of passing that style on, making you think you are listening to the author herself. What you won't hear is lists of pharaohs and their achievements, although a little knowledge of the history of the civilisation does help.

What I am calling accessible some might call patronising, but I guess that depends on how you like to hear your book. I've read plenty on ancient Egypt, and had no problem with the way this one was written. For those with an interest in ancient lives this book is definitely recommended, but those that prefer dry, scholarly works might like to give it a miss.
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- Dave

Sarah Palin meets Amenhotep

I couldn't finish this. The combination of patronising, folksy content and condescending 'I'm talking to really stupid children' delivery drove me up the wall. Ancient Egypt deserves better than this. Listen to Herodotus instead.
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- melmoth2

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-03-2008
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio