Event Details

  • Date:
  • Venue: The Atlantis Bookshop
  • 49a Museum Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1A 1LY, UK


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We are absolutely delighted to be launching Andy Collins’ new title, The First Female Pharaoh.

This is the first ever biography of Sobekneferu, the first woman to wear the crowns of both Upper and Lower Egypt. The book explores her life, her times, and the impact she had on ancient Egypt as it teetered on the brink of collapse toward the end of the Middle Kingdom. Through her concerted actions Egypt would survive a dark age known as the Second Intermediate Period and go on to become one of the most powerful and influential empires in the ancient world.

The book explores Sobekneferu’s relationship with her brother Amenemhet IV, her sister Neferuptah, and their father Amenemhet III. It explores her suspected relationship with Joseph of biblical tradition, her identity as the legendary female ruler Nitocris of Greek tradition, and her creation of the Egyptian Labyrinth as the centre of a virtual monotheistic religion. It also examines Sobekneferu’s religious beliefs, her eventual death and the fate of her body. The First Female Pharaoh goes in search of the temples and ruins associated with her reign showing their relationship to the stars of the northern night sky.

Collins demonstrates how Sobekneferu’s deeds and actions would eventually be suppressed by those who followed her, although the potency of her achievements and the cult ignited in her name would ripple down through the ages, leading to her reemergence during the Victorian age as a Gothic icon and occult inspiration through her role as the antagonist in Bram Stoker’s shocking Egyptian novel The Jewel of Seven Stars (1903).