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The Collector's Daughter: A Novel of the Discovery of…

by Gill Paul

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707336,125 (3.78)None
A Paperback Original Bestselling author Gill Paul returns with a brilliant novel about Lady Evelyn Herbert, the woman who took the very first step into the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, and who lived in the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, and the long after-effects of the Curse of Pharaohs.  Lady Evelyn Herbert was the daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon, brought up in stunning Highclere Castle. Popular and pretty, she seemed destined for a prestigious marriage, but she had other ideas. Instead, she left behind the world of society balls and chaperones to travel to the Egyptian desert, where she hoped to become a lady archaeologist, working alongside her father and Howard Carter in the hunt for an undisturbed tomb. In November 1922, their dreams came true when they discovered the burial place of Tutankhamun, packed full of gold and unimaginable riches, and she was the first person to crawl inside for three thousand years. She called it the "greatest moment" of her life--but soon afterwards everything changed, with a string of tragedies that left her world a darker, sadder place. Newspapers claimed it was "the curse of Tutankhamun," but Howard Carter said no rational person would entertain such nonsense. Yet fifty years later, when an Egyptian academic came asking questions about what really happened in the tomb, it unleashed a new chain of events that seemed to threaten the happiness Eve had finally found.… (more)
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This novel is about the life of Lady Evelyn Herbert. Though it does speak about her part in the discovery of King Tut’s tomb - indeed the publisher’s summary leads readers to believe that is the focus - it is really the story of her love for her husband, Brograve, and his love for her. The story vacillates between Eve in her later years to the time when she was a young woman. We learn what drives her to want to be a lady archeologist, exploring along with her father, the Earl of Carnarvon, and with Howard Carter. It also brings to light the curse that supposedly surrounds the tomb. Readers will see Eve as a vibrant woman, meeting her future husband, and enjoying life. After suffering through several strokes, we see her gradual decline. Though she experienced great highs in her life, she also was victim to great tragedies. This well written novel, with equally well written characters, will likely send readers scurrying on for more information, to separate fiction from fact. The plot is captivating, with the discovery of the tomb, but the very strong love between Eve and Brograve is the heart of the story and essence of this novel. This raw emotion, and the caring each for the other, is the real story of Lady Eve, not the tomb and the curse, and was extremely well presented by the author. ( )
  Maydacat | Jul 13, 2022 |
Lady Evelyn Herbert is the first person to step into King Tut's tomb when it is discovered in 1922. Along with her father and family friend, Howard Carter Evelyn sees firsthand the treasures that accompanied Tut into the ever after. After the opening of Tut's tomb, Evelyn receives a letter from a known spiritualist that there was a curse placed upon the tomb which states "they that shall break the seal of this tomb shall meet death by a disease no doctor can diagnose." Evelyn looks back on her time in Egypt when someone who works for the university in Cairo reaches out regarding missing items from the tomb and begins to wonder if all the tragedies in her life have been a direct result of Tut's curse.

Lady Evelyn Herbert was someone I had never heard of nor had I read anything surrounding the finding of the tomb of Tutankhamun. This was a well-researched story that I found myself drawn more and more into. I loved Eve's ability to recall her times in Cairo as well as other events in her life. Gill Paul has a talent for making the reader want to keep reading deep into the night. This was a book I greatly looked forward to and am so glad that I read it - it will be one I buy for my shelves. ( )
  Micareads | Jun 21, 2022 |
Eve's Carnarvon dream job was to be an archeologist and in fact she became one. Together with her father, Lord Carnarvon, and his best friend, Howard Carter, they explored the ancient ruins of Egypt. The biggest discovery of Tutankhamun's burial awaited them in November 1922. That was also the time where at night, the three of them entered a sealed chamber knowing they should not do it before the official opening. That night they disturbed pharaoh's burial chamber and they agreed to keep this secret forever. Now in 1972, Eve had another stroke that affected her speech, mobility and memory. When Ana, the archeologist contacted Eve, Eve's husband and the doctors considered it as an opportunity for Eve to exercise her memory. Astonishingly, she remembered her expeditions to Egypt and how she met her husband who still stood by her side. When asked about her memories about opening Tutankhamun's tomb, Eve struggled if she should reveal the secrets in which she kept to herself for so long. Secrets that could be disastrous for Howard, her father and for herself.

When I saw the cover page with the title and note "A Novel of the Discovery of Tutankhamun's Tomb", It's a compelling story of Egyptian discoveries and the dramatic events that unfolded afterwards. Masterfully told, with two timelines intertwined together and I was mesmerized by both of them. ( )
  Maret-G | Mar 13, 2022 |
I finished this novel fascinated with both Egyptian history and the English family connected to the uncovering of Tutankhamen's tomb. The story is told from the perspective of Eve, daughter of Lord Carnarvon (funder of Howard Carter's Egyptian archaeological expeditions and proprietor of the Downton Abbey-famed Highclere Castle. Eve accompanied her father and Howard Carter on their Egyptian trips and helped to uncover ancient Egyptian artifacts. Years later, with her memory fractured by repeated strokes, Eve is approached by an Egyptian scholar seeking to piece together the story of the tomb's discovery and how several notable items went missing. All of which makes for a fascinating novel and one that make me eager to check out a few of the books mentioned in the author's note. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Dec 31, 2021 |
I was fascinated by the audio version of a book that brings to life the exploration of Tutankhamun. She brings to light the importance of Lord Carnarvon’s daughter, Lady Evelyn (Eve) Herbert. Eve had always wanted to be an archaeologist. Her father’s friendship and sponsorship of Howard Carter’s Egyptian exploration. She, her father, and Carter secretly entered the tomb before they were allowed by the Egyptian government and removed some artifacts. She never became an archaeologist, but she married for love. Her husband, Sir Brograve Beauchamp, recognized her enthusiasms and her energy. The story moves back and forth from the 1920’s to the 1970’s and 80’s when Eve suffered many strokes after a debilitating auto accident, when an Egyptian scholar comes looking for the artifacts. Imogene Church’s narration, particularly that of Eve when she was recovering from a stroke and regaining her ability to speak did the story justice, not only as historical fiction, but a marriage that never lost its romance. ( )
  brangwinn | Nov 19, 2021 |
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A Paperback Original Bestselling author Gill Paul returns with a brilliant novel about Lady Evelyn Herbert, the woman who took the very first step into the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, and who lived in the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, and the long after-effects of the Curse of Pharaohs.  Lady Evelyn Herbert was the daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon, brought up in stunning Highclere Castle. Popular and pretty, she seemed destined for a prestigious marriage, but she had other ideas. Instead, she left behind the world of society balls and chaperones to travel to the Egyptian desert, where she hoped to become a lady archaeologist, working alongside her father and Howard Carter in the hunt for an undisturbed tomb. In November 1922, their dreams came true when they discovered the burial place of Tutankhamun, packed full of gold and unimaginable riches, and she was the first person to crawl inside for three thousand years. She called it the "greatest moment" of her life--but soon afterwards everything changed, with a string of tragedies that left her world a darker, sadder place. Newspapers claimed it was "the curse of Tutankhamun," but Howard Carter said no rational person would entertain such nonsense. Yet fifty years later, when an Egyptian academic came asking questions about what really happened in the tomb, it unleashed a new chain of events that seemed to threaten the happiness Eve had finally found.

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