Giovanni Belzoni. Narrative of the operations and recent discoveries within the pyramids, temples, tombs and excavations in Egypt and Nubia. London: John Murray, 1820. Auckland City Libraries

Giovanni Belzoni. Narrative of the operations and recent discoveries within the pyramids, temples, tombs and excavations in Egypt and Nubia. London: John Murray, 1820. Auckland City Libraries

View large image Embed

Giovanni Belzoni. Narrative of the operations and recent discoveries within the pyramids, temples, tombs and excavations in Egypt and Nubia. London: John Murray, 1820. Auckland City Libraries

This item has no known copyright. When reusing, please acknowledge Auckland City Libraries and use the reference provided. Reproductions of images can be ordered from Auckland City Libraries.

Download full size image

Narrative of the operations and recent discoveries within the pyramids, temples, tombs and excavations in Egypt and Nubia

Author: Giovanni Belzoni
Ref No: G 916.2 B43
Date Created: 1820

Giovanni Battista Belzoni was one of the most colourful figures of the early nineteenth century. Born at Padua in 1778, in his youth he considered a monastic career, but with Napoleon’s conquering army entering Rome in 1798 and forcing Pope Pius VI into exile, this was not an opportune period to join the church. Belzoni turned his attention instead to the study of hydraulics. Struck by wanderlust and keen to avoid military conscription, he travelled throughout Europe to find employment as an engineer. When offers were not forthcoming, he turned to other means of earning a livelihood. A huge, muscular man, standing six foot seven inches (two metres) tall, he dazzled audiences with remarkable feats of strength at fairs and in theatres. Ambitious to be known as more than just a fairground attraction, however, in 1815 he volunteered his services as a professor of hydraulics to Muhammad Ali Pasha, viceroy of Egypt, and was accepted.

When he returned to England in 1819, Belzoni offered an account of his adventures to one of the leading publishers of the age, John Murray. Although his English was sometimes eccentric, Belzoni insisted on writing the text himself. Murray published the ‘narrative’ as an ordinary-sized quarto, but a large folio format was required for the accompanying volume of hand-coloured lithographs based on Belzoni’s drawings.

Donated by Sir George Grey, the Library’s copy was a gift from Belzoni himself to an English friend, Jeremiah Ives.

Tags: 2rboc, 45uqp, 8qgrh, 95mroa, 9fkuub, aback0, badmu2, boisfv, bvzzqbrimedecom, cupww, desert, djucum, Egypt, gtfuqmhbpwzzydu, history, Hullmandel, julwm5, kynb2, lithographs, m3vqm, m5ikq, nkjqm, rdyoq, strdz, tgaew, travel, vtccv, women, y7clk, ygca0

Add A Tag

Add keywords separated by commas

Browse all the Collection