Originally posted on LJ on Nov 18, 2010
Today I’m reviewing Rosalie David’s “Handbook to life in AE“.
I’ve heard a lot about Rosalie David. Many of her books come recommended, so I was excited to see one of her books in my local bookstore. However, I found this book utterly boring, and totally useless to me. I can say that I learned pretty much nothing from the book, and felt that you could cover the same material in a better fashion by reading Kemp’s book instead.
I think the largest issues with this book were the highly repetitive nature, the matter of fact tone, and the generalized nature. In her book, you could find whole paragraphs of text that were literally copied from previous portions in the book. She also would repeat things all the time, for example- the Rammesium (Temple of Ramesses II), or something similar. No duh. You mention it in the first sentence of the paragraph. You don’t need to mention it every other time the name comes up. The tone of her book seemed matter of fact to me. That thi WAS the way it WAS and that’s that. She rarely offered varying opinions on things, and (IMO) seemed to have outdated facts. She frequently referred to the matrilineal style of pharaohs and accention to the throne. However, I have read many other books who say that this has been disproven. So why not mention that that theory is a theory? That it could be wrong? It was frustrating. I also felt that her book didn’t go very in depth. It was vague, general, and really very cut and dry. I skipped pages at a time in some chapters because I just couldn’t take it any more.
All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this book, esp. if you are new to learning about AE history. I feel that you’d be better off with a Mertz or Kemp book to get you started, so you can learn filter what is useful and what isn’t from David’s book.