Egyptomania Goes to the Movies

From Archaeology to Popular Craze to Hollywood Fantasy


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About the Book

“Egyptomania,” the West’s obsession with the strange and magnificent world of Ancient Egypt, has for centuries been reflected in architecture, literature and the performing arts. But the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922, by a sensation-hungry world newly united by mass media, created a wave of fascination unlike anything before. They called it “Tutmania” and its influence was felt everywhere from fashion to home decor to popular music—and notably in the new medium of film. This study traces the origins of 20th century cinema’s obsession with Ancient Egypt through previous eras and relates its recurring themes and ideas to the historical reality of the land of the Pharaohs.

About the Author(s)

Matthew Coniam has contributed to numerous books, magazines, journals and websites in Britain and America. He lives in Bath, England.

Bibliographic Details

Matthew Coniam

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: 91 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6828-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2986-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Cast of Characters ix
Introduction: The Dream of Egypt 1
1. Death on the Nile 9
2. Of Mania and Maniacs 21
3. It’s an Egyptian Year! 37
4. The Face Behind the Mask 55
5. Good Heavens, What a Terrible Curse! 72
6. Losses and Survivals 89
7. From Lot No. 249 to Law No. 215 107
8. In Many Forms, Shall We Return 121
9. An Egyptian Feast 131
10. The Pharaoh’s Razor Blade 141
Epilogue: Graves and Dead Men 152
The Mummy List: A Chronological Concordance of Egyptomania at the Movies, 1849–2015 159
Chapter Notes 177
Bibliography 183
Index 185

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Informative and fun…provides much interesting detail…recommended”—Choice

• “Very detailed…a complete history of the history of Egyptomania and the mummy craze at the movies, how it first hit Hollywood and the way British Hammer studio continued the idea…recommended and most entertaining”—