Collected, translated, and with commentary by
Sir Flinders Petrie
This small book, jam-packed with delicious and exotic stories, would be better titled Ancient Egyptian Folktales, for that is what it contains. Sir Flinders Petrie (1853-1942), one of the greatest Egyptologists of his generation, collected and translated from ancient papyrii these archetypal stories that were told and recorded from the 4th through the 19th Dynasties. These are not the tales of gods and goddesses, thought sometimes these great spiritual beings are present within the tales. These are stories of human beings, of their quests and trials and encounters with other realms, similar in content to the later European fairy tales and Haus Märchen collected by the brothers Grimm and others.
Within these tales, the Ancient Egyptians themselves spring to life, and we are offered not only wisdom and insight as is the provence of any folktale, but we also have before us picture after picture of daily life, expectations, society and much much more. Anyone who wishes to bring Ancient Egyptian society in its many facets alive for their students or children will want to read this book, then tell or read the stories. (note: It is important that you read them first because not all of them are finished due to the fact that parts of the papyrus were torn away over the ages. Most, however, are intact.)
A bonus is that Sir Flinders has added his own commentary at the end of each — his knowledge and understanding of the significance of the stories is remarkable and will add greatly to your own understanding, and thereby, to that of any children you share these tales with.