Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Mummy by Joyce Tyldesley

Joyce Tyldesley
Carlton Books Limited
ISBN: 1 85868 714 4

On my journey back to Vancouver I was browsing through this book which I had just picked up while visiting Victoria finding, to my chagrin, that a number of the photos bore incorrect captions including a picture of the female mummy found in the coffin of Ahmes Nofretari labeled as the mummy of Siptah. On page 16 the sentence says "Although the purifying bacteria.." when it should be "putrefying bacteria", makes one wonder if the editor was asleep during the production of this book. Being only 25 pages into it I have already found a half dozen mistakes, we are off to a very clumsy start!

The book is a short 125 pages long with a good selection of pictures as is the writing of Ms. Tyldesley informative which I expected from previous works by the author that I have read. The mummy is clearly intended for new readers to Egyptian history as most of the famous stories in relation to mummies are present in a format very much suited for a ten-year-old.

That is not to say nothing original was said in contrary I learned a number of interesting details but there were still more mistakes. From here the author is on to a history of fictitious books and movies all featuring our bandaged friend committing acts of brute murder.

At the end of the book, I reflected on the errors which I had found realizing these mistakes were in relation to the labelling of pictures and poor editorial production they in no way detracted from the strong presentation by the author. Having said that I have my doubts whether I would give this book to a child knowing that it possessed a fair amount of misinformation.

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