WILKINSON, J.G. The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians … A New Edition, Revised and Corrected by Samuel Birch.

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WILKINSON, J.G. The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians … A New Edition, Revised and Corrected by Samuel Birch. London, John Murray, 1878.

Three volumes, 8vo. Original cloth decorated and lettered in gilt; pp. xxx, 510; xii, 515; xi, 528, highly illustrated in the text and on plates (several folding and in colour); a little rubbing to a few corners, some inner hinges strengthened; frontispiece and preliminaries of volume III with marginal trace of humidity, otherwise an attractive copy in the original publisher's decorated cloth.
Considered the best edition of this impressive classis (first, 1837), this work is based on Wilkinson's 12 years of research in Egypt. His 'greatest published work was Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians (1837), a profusely illustrated description of ancient Egyptian society. Drawing upon his work in the tombs at Gurna, Wilkinson was able to present a poignant picture of daily life in ancient Egypt that instantly caught the popular imagination. Praised by one reviewer as a 'restoration to life, as it were, of the ancient Pharaohs, and their subjects' (QR, Jan 1839, 120), it passed through many editions, influencing generations of English-speaking readers' (ODNB). The editor of this edition, Samuel Birch, 'is best remembered as one of the first British Egyptologists. He began his Egyptological studies before he entered the British Museum, when Egyptology was in its infancy. Of British scholars, only John Gardner Wilkinson had as yet shown a proper comprehension of the ancient Egyptian language. His great work, ~b~The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians~i~, was published the year after Birch entered the museum, and it was appropriate that Birch should produce a revised edition in 1878, adding much new material (ODNB).

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