Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tragic loss of ancient manuscripts

Napoleon's 'Description de L'Egypte' lost to fire amid clashes
Ahram Online, Sunday 18 Dec 2011

Thousands of irreplaceable manuscripts at Cairo's Institute for
Scientific Research are lost to fire amid attack military attack on
protesters at nearby Cabinet building

A fire that erupted on Saturday in Egypt’s Institute for the
Advancement of Scientific Research has resulted in the loss of several
precious manuscripts, according to Zein Abdel-Hadi, head of Egypt’s
Libraries and Archives Department, which has taken possession of many
of the books rescued from the fire. The original manuscript of
Napoleon’s historic “Description De L'Egypte” was reportedly among the

Young revolutionaries rushed into the institute – which is located
next to the Cabinet building, the site of ongoing clashes between
security personnel and anti-government protesters – as soon as the
fire erupted in hopes of rescuing the thousands original manuscripts
housed there. Nearly 30,000 books were rescued out of a total of
around 196,000 in the institute’s collection, estimated Abdel-Hadi,
who went on to commend the young activists’ courage.

The “Description De L'Egypte” was initially drawn up by the team of
French scientists who accompanied French empire-builder Napoleon on
his invasion of Egypt (1798-1801). The 20-volume book was originally
entitled “Description of Egypt, or the Collection of Notes and
Research Done in Egypt during the French Campaign by Napoleon

After the scientists’ return to France, the French interior minister
at the time, Jean Antoine Schpetal, organised a special committee
mandated with collecting and publishing all the material, which was
eventually published in ten volumes of engravings, nine volumes of
research, and one atlas.

The volumes are considered among the most important historical works
of the early nineteenth century.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ancient Egypt in an Hour

I have recently compiled a concise history of the 3,000 years that the ancient Egyptian culture existed and prospered in the Nile valley. The 10,000 word or one hour read is illustrated and provides an overview of the subject for those busy people who do not have the time or patience to wade through lengthy volumes on the subject. Below is a press release that describes the ebook and the series of History in an Hour. I highly recommend you to look into

Ancient Egypt In An Hour

LONDON - For immediate release

A new iPhone app on Ancient Egypt has been launched this week by History In An Hour and specialist electronic publisher Collca.

Available from Apple's iTune and iBook stores, Ancient Egypt In An Hour by Anthony Holmes is three thousand years of Ancient Egyptian history summarised in just sixty minutes of reading: hieroglyphs, mummification, Tutankhamen, Rameses the Great and Cleopatra are all here - and much more in just one hour.

The title is targeted at commuters, students and the curious who want to learn the facts and context about Ancient Egypt but don’t have much time. It features an engaging narrative, photos and timeline.

Founder of History in An Hour, Rupert Colley established the ebook series after he built an impressive but largely unread library of history books. He spotted a gap in the market for an introductory but straight narrative that could capture the essence of a subject with comparatively little effort.

"Many people want an introduction to different periods of history," he said, "but don’t always have time to read daunting books of 600 pages with 35 page introductions."

History In An Hour takes you straight in, to the point in sixty minutes, with no embedded links to divert the attention. Then, having absorbed the basics, the reader may feel inspired to explore further.

Ancient Egypt In An Hour is the eighth in the History In An Hour series of ebooks to be made available as an iPhone or iPad app, or eBook.

Mike Hyman, Managing Director of Collca said:

"We had been looking for highly relevant eBook partners to work with in producing apps and found History In An Hour. We are very pleased with how the partnership has worked to produce Ancient Egypt In An Hour. Other titles from the series include World War Two In An Hour, Nazi Germany In An Hour, The Cold War In An Hour and 1066 In An Hour."


"The format certainly makes for an ideal ebook ... This is the way of the future of history publishing." Andrew Roberts, historian.

"Can I just say at this point that I think the idea of ebooks you can read in an hour is a fantastic one?" Editor, History Times.

"I must congratulate you on a great idea." The Army Children Archive.

"By the time my train journey was over I genuinely felt more knowledgeable. Good stuff, I look to the other titles coming out." Buyer review on the App Store.

"I really like the history in an hour series. Feel like I'm reading a million pages a week now." Twitter follower.

"I've just used a couple of your free to download resources and I was hugely impressed with them." History teacher, Wales.

Collca is a brand-new electronic publisher specialising in book-derived and other reference and educational apps initially for the Apple iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch.

History In An Hour ebooks can be downloaded from, Apple's iBook store, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Stanza on various different e-book formats (MobiPocket, epub, Sony Reader, Palm Doc, and Apple's iPhone and iPad.


Rupert Colley (History In An Hour)

Mike Hyman (Collca)

Anthony Holmes (Author)