Monday, August 14, 2006

This just in from the EEF. Sometimes correspondent Jasmine Day has just gotten her book published:

by Jasmine Day

The riddle of the 'curse of the pharaohs' is finally solved via a radical
anthropological treatment of the legend as a cultural concept rather than a
physical phenomenon. The most penetrating study of the curse ever conducted
shows that its structure and meaning changed over time, as public attitudes
toward archaeology and the Middle East were transformed by events such as
the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. Victorian women writers likened
unwrapping to rape, but to exploit the growing popularity of Egyptology,
Hollywood turned mummies from victims into monsters, destroying the curse's
power to challenge abuses of human remains. So mummies came to symbolise
everything wrong and rotten: pollution, age, death, difference and defiance
of authority, becoming imaginary friends or cautionary examples for

"The Mummy's Curse" uncovers forgotten nineteenth century fiction and
poetry, revolutionises the study of mummy horror films and reveals the
prejudices embedded in children's toys. Original surveys and field
observations of museum visitors demonstrate that media stereotypes (to
which museums inadvertently contribute) promote vilification of mummies,
which can invalidate demands for their removal from display. "The Mummy's
Curse" asks: must we debase other cultures in order to practise our own?

List of contents online at:

Published by Routledge (London and New York), 2006
208 pp, b&w illustrations
Paperback RRP: £18.99 (ISBN 0-415-34022-5)
Hardcover RRP: £60.00 (ISBN 0-415-34021-7)

Available at online and shopfront booksellers and various museum and
university bookshops.

Even apart from the analysis, the book ought to be worth it just for the source data from the last decades.

Go buy it.