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The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians
London: John Murray, , 1878. A New Edition, Revised and Corrected. 3 volumes octavo. Original dark green, sand-grain cloth, titles, Egyptian water lilies device and Horus falcon to the spine, large block of a funerary boat to the upper boards within blind panelling, brown surface-paper endpapers. Binder's tickets of Simpson & Renshaw to the rear pastedowns. Numerous plates, some coloured, some folding, text profusely illustrated with woodcuts. A little rubbed, head- and tail-caps slightly crumpled, hinges very slightly loose, endpapers chafed, some light foxing, but a very good set. The best edition of this keystone work of British Egyptology. The Quarterly Review referred to the 1837 first edition of Wilkinson's minutely detailed and superbly illustrated work as a "restoration to life, as it were, of the ancient Pharaohs, and their subjects". With his meticulous observation and recording of sites (the illustrations are taken from his drawings), Wilkinson was the first British Egyptologist properly to value the interpretation of Egyptian texts; and Birch's scrupulous pursuit of linguistic and textual analysis made him the only man capable of undertaking a meaningful revision. Working from Wilkinson's extensive notebooks and manuscripts alongside his own original material, Birch much enhanced the original, though, bizarrely, he never visited Egypt himself. This copy warmly inscribed on all front free endpapers by Wilkinson's wife Caroline in the year of publication. Wilkinson had died in 1875, buried in his local churchyard "under a monument of his own design, an obelisk atop a pedestal," Lady Wilkinson's plans for publishing his various manuscripts regrettably "came to naught".
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2013-12-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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