Pauline Hopkins’ Literary Egyptology

In: Journal of Egyptian History
Author: Vanessa Davies1
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  • 1 Founding Organizer, Nile Valley Collective, United States of America
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Author Pauline Hopkins produced work in a variety of genres: short stories, novels, a musical, a primer of facts. Like other African Americans of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, she engaged with the history of the Nile Valley before the discipline of Egyptology was firmly established in the sphere of higher education in the US. Her serialized novel Of One Blood, published in 1902 and 1903, draws on a variety of sources, such as the English historian George Rawlinson, to tell a fictionalized story set in the contemporary present of the Upper Nile and to address issues related to the ancient past of that region. Her main character, Reuel, embodies links across time—ancient and contemporary—and space—the United States and the Nile River Valley. Through him, she shows the power and relevance of ancient history to contemporary life.

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