Author: Downs, Jonathan
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: As New
Jacket Condition: As New
Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall
New book, 262 pages. In 1798, General Napoleon Bonaparte set sail for Egypt at the head of an invasion fleet over twice the size of the Spanish Armada. With him went 167 'savants', a corps of hand-picked scientists, artists, naturalists, geographers and engineers, the aim being not only military conquest but also to rediscover the lost civilisation of the Nile. In the following year, French army engineers working in the town of Rosetta made a startling find: a dark polished stone bearing three inscriptions, in Greek, demotic, and ancient heiroglyphs. This book charts the fate of the Stone, from the Institut d'Egypte in Cairo to the ruine of Alexandria, where Napoleons forces were besieged by the British. For the first time the extraordinary story of the battle for the Stone and how it finally arrived in England is told in full: how the despised General Menou concealed it amid a treasure trove of Egyptian antiquities in the back streets of the city; and how a Cambridge scholar, Edward Daniel Clarke and his student companion John Cripps, were sent in with Lord Elgin's agent William Richard Hamilton, to track down the Stone in the greatest scavenger hunt of the day.