By Diane Johnson
This little book is a great introduction to a specialist area in Egyptology. The author developed a curiosity of this subject by observance of attitudes in modern Egypt which led her to explore this from an ancient Egyptian perspective. It considers a range of evidence from symbolism and religion through to physical aspects, giving the beginner a better understanding of the ancient Egyptian perception of the breast. The images inside the book are all black and white but overall beautifully printed. This book was originally researched and written to form a dissertation of an accredited British University qualification in Egyptology, so while not a professional Egyptologist, the author has a broad background knowledge from her studies in addition to experience of living in Egypt. I am glad that I bought this book, I really enjoyed reading it. As a specialist book that is written in a style accessible to all I think it’s a great buy.
By Geoffrey Franklyn
Well,well there’s some prickly people out there all because a woman has tried her best to inform ordinary Joe’s like myself the reaction to the human breast by the ancient Egyptians. I found the book to be informative, simply explained and well presented and I enjoyed the read. As for Man U the institution itself would not be running the course if it was’nt of any value, sure it won’t turn anyone into an Egyptologist o/night,but for someone in Jane’s position the extra knowledge gained would be invaluable, passing that knowledge on to visitors and tourists in the wonderful land of the pharaohs. Some reviews suggest the book was published only for money to be made—What rubbish!! my wife has published in a similar format a book on the Franklyn family history it sells for $AU35 making no profit whatsoever, postage to places around the world pushes costs to over $AU60, it sells because of the subject interest, not to line pockets. Sad really to see the underlying vindictiveness some… More >
Good grief, people, I’m not sure what some of you were expecting! I enjoyed Jane’s book immensely. It’s not pitched at being high brow top-end Egyptology, but does contain a great deal of interesting information about this topic, and does so in a somewhat whimsical and entertaining way. To correct some misapprehensions about the Manchester course, the version Jane did was four years long (as it was when I did it myself), and it does involve the submission of assignments that require a great deal of background work. It doesn’t make one a professional Egyptologist, but it does provide a solid grounding upon which to build. Jane’s business and livelihood are based on Egypt; I really don’t see a problem with wanting to maximise that. So, on to the book. It’s fun, yet interesting at the same time. Nowadays we obsess on breasts (man talking here), yet it is instructive to look at how other cultures, extant and ancient, viewed things. We’re often tempted to think of Ancient Egypt as categorically different from our Western culture, but really it is in smooth (if often obscure) continuity with it. Christianity as we know it owes as much to Alexandria and the Egyptian influences as it does to Greece, Rome and Jerusalem. Our medicine is built on a Greek model which itself originated in Egypt. Jane’s book gives us an insight into another area – that of sex and motherhood, and works as a springboard for further thinking about this. Maybe professional Egyptologists will feel a bit short-changed, but most tourists visiting Egypt are amateurs at best, and a helpful background guide to help them take a slightly different view is a good thing. As I said, I enjoyed this book. I think the pricing band is a *wee* bit high for the general reader, but I feel I got my money’s worth in the first chapter, with the discussion of the totally hilarious Turin Erotic Papyrus. Plus ca change, as my wife would say.< Less
By Valerie Warner
A well written study of how the breast was viewed in Ancient Egypt, whether it was sexy, sacred or secular in contrast to present day views. The author takes you through the different tomb and temple paintings/carvings, through papyrus drawings and ancient poetry looking at how the breast was depicted in the different ones, how the ages of women and men were shown through the breast shape and how the many Kings of Ancient Egypt preferred to be immortalized on their temples. Very informative and a thoroughly enjoyable read.