Ancient Egypt in the Popular Imagination

Building a Fantasy in Film, Literature, Music and Art


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About the Book

Ancient Egypt has long been a source of fascination in Western popular culture. Movies such as The Mummy (1932, 1959), Biblical epics like The Ten Commandments (1923, 1956), and pharaonic films like Cleopatra (1934, 1963) and The Egyptian (1954) have all recreated the glamour and allure of Egyptian art and civilization for Western audiences. This work traces how these and other films were inspired by writers like Bram Stoker and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and by the art of Victorian painters. Similarly, it shows how the soundtracks to such films belong to a Romantic musical tradition stretching back beyond Verdi and Mozart. Exploring these artistic endeavors addresses the question of whether the fantasy of ancient Egypt represents racist misunderstandings of a far more significant reality, or a way for Western culture to understand itself.

About the Author(s)

David Huckvale has worked as a researcher, writer and presenter for BBC Radio and as a lecturer for various universities in England. He lives in rural Bedfordshire.

Bibliographic Details

David Huckvale
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 254
Bibliographic Info: 73 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6577-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8976-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Introduction      1

1. Films      7

2. Egyptology      59

3. Myth and Magic      86

4. Art      107

5. Fiction and Fantasy, Part 1      132

6. Fiction and Fantasy, Part 2      159

7. Music      188

Conclusion      218

Filmography      223

Chapter Notes      225

Bibliography      235

Index      239