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The Millionaire and the Mummies: Theodore Davis's Gilded Age in the Valley of the Kings

 
 
Author
John M. Adams.
Publisher St. Martin's  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 1.2 inches
ISBN 9781250026699
Pages/Publication Date 363/2013
Daedalus Item Code 60810
This item is not available.
Description
A confederate of Boss Tweed, friend of Teddy Roosevelt, and rival of J.P. Morgan, Theodore Davis was a self-made man of the Gilded Age, making millions through corruption and fraud and sharing his Newport mansion with his Rembrandts, his wife, and his mistress. And yet, as John Adams excavates the man here, Davis found his true passion in the Valley of Kings, where his discoveries yielded some of the greatest known treasures of ancient Egypt. But for Davis this was no plunder: his methods elevated what had been glorified grave-robbing into archaeological science (indeed, it was his professional caution that led him to miss Tutankhamun's tomb by a mere six feet), and he donated all of his finds to museums. Adams rehabilitates Davis's tarnished image in a tale of crime and adventure filled with larger-than-life characters.

"Adams vividly portrays the unlikely robber baron who set the standards for archaeology. Adams presents Davis warts and all, as a callous, scheming tycoon who amassed a fortune and then did an about-face and behaved with honesty, responsibility and generosity as he transformed archaeology."Kirkus Reviews

"A rounded biography. Theodore Davis's work, though overshadowed by later excavations, was revolutionary in its methodical thoroughness, and Adams is similarly scientific in his factual resurrection of Davis's life. Throughout the book, there is a compelling tension between Davis's uniquely American style of self-made wealth and the divinely granted kingships of the ancient Egyptian rulers. It's a fresh look at Egyptology, and the author skillfully dusts off a historic life, presenting his subject as a full-bodied human."Publishers Weekly

 
 
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