Egyptian Queen Hatchepsut, who died in 1482 B.C. after more than 20 years of peaceful rule, proclaimed herself pharaoh during her reign. She depicted herself, in temple paintings, as a man who hunted, fished and even sported the pharaoh's hallmark false beard. Was she, then, as many historians have speculated, a cross-dresser or merely power-hungry and eager to outshine the half-brother whom she married, King Tuthmosis II? There's absolutely no evidence to suggest she ""came out"" as a transvestite, concludes English archeologist Tyldesley, and the fact that Hatchepsut retained her female name ""suggests that she did not see herself as wholly, or even partially, male."" In this highly conjectural biography, Hatchepsut emerges as a conformist queen consort who, once her husband died, blossomed as a pragmatic ruler, bringing Egypt an oasis of stable government, impressive architectural restoration and adventurous foreign trade and exploration from Phoenicia to Sinai. This biography will be of interest primarily to specialists. Illustrated. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/1996 Release date: 12/01/1996 Genre: Nonfiction
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