Tales of Ancient Egypt

Roger Lancelyn Green

Illustrated by Romy Blümel

Introduced by Geraldine McCaughrean

Roger Lancelyn Green’s incredible stories and Romy Blümel’s arresting illustrations come together in this new edition of Tales of Ancient Egypt, published in series with Tales of the Greek Heroes.


Ancient Egypt has given the world some of the most fantastical voyages and memorable characters in literature. From Odysseus to Cinderella and Sindbad, the origins of many of our best-loved tales can be traced back to the stone carvings and papyrus texts of Egyptian antiquity. Following the hugely popular Tales of the Greek Heroes, this beautiful new edition of Lancelyn Green’s classic anthology is also illustrated by Romy Blümel, and introduced by multi-award-winning children’s author Geraldine McCaughrean.

Production Details

Bound in blocked cloth

Set in Haarlemmer

240 pages

Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations, including 1 double-page spread

1 double-page full-colour map

Printed endpapers

Blocked slipcase

10˝ x 7½˝

Retelling tales for a captivated young audience

‘A scholar through and through, Lancelyn Green knew his Egyptology down to the last ostrich feather’

  1. From the introduction

Roger Lancelyn Green was a successful and prolific fiction writer and biographer, but his overriding talent lay in retelling myths and folk tales for children. He understood the wonder that these ancient stories of gods and goddesses, warriors and explorers held for younger readers, and the importance of placing history in context for inquiring minds. And whose imagination wouldn’t be piqued by tales such as ‘Isis and Osiris’? Lauded as the most influential of all the Egyptian myths, this epic love story is spiked with jealousy, murder and revenge. One of the most powerful and ancient gods is depicted in ‘Khnemu of the Nile’: a cautionary tale tackling virtue and humility, in which a pharaoh chooses to glorify himself over the gods. These and 18 other exciting stories of warfare, monsters, the Underworld, festivals and epic journeys are arranged by theme: ‘Tales of the Gods’, ‘Tales of Magic’ and ‘Tales of Adventure’.

An award-winning author introduces our edition

Geraldine McCaughrean is a multi-award-winning writer with many accolades for her own retellings of myths and fairy tales. Her exclusive introduction to the Folio edition explores our enduring love for, and fascination with, ancient Egypt, and the sheer volume and breadth of stories that have survived. ‘Gluttonous for knowledge, Curiosity, like a grave-robber, pillaged their memorials and tombs to know more about them. As a result, admiration for their culture spread throughout the world, and their stories have been pocketed by a million storytellers.’

Although these myths have been retold and repurposed over and again, over thousands of years, this collection takes us back to their origins in a beautifully written narrative that is vividly illustrated. Following on from her work in Tales of the Greek Heroes, Romy Blümel has created a series of striking illustrations that include stylised symbols and cultural artefacts. Her map of Egypt, showing locations pertinent to the tales, is exquisitely painted with bold colours that evoke the land it portrays.


Ra and His Children
Isis and Osiris
Horus the Avenger
Khnemu of the Nile
The Great Queen Hatshepsut
The Prince and the Sphinx
The Princess and the Demon
The Golden Lotus
Teta the Magician
The Book of Thoth
Se-Osiris and the Sealed Letter
The Land of the Dead
The Tale of the Two Brothers
The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor
The Adventures of Sinuhe
The Peasant and the Workman
The Taking of Joppa
The Story of the Greek Princess
The Treasure Thief
The Girl with the Rose-Red Slippers

About Roger Lancelyn Green

Roger Lancelyn Green was born in Norwich in 1918. An Oxford academic and librarian, he was one of the Inklings, alongside J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. He published biographies of Lewis, Andrew Lang, J. M. Barrie and Lewis Carroll, among others, but is better known for his retellings of folk tales, myths and legends from around the world. In addition to Greek myths, he published collections of Norse and Egyptian myths, Arthurian legends, the stories of Robin Hood and stories from Shakespeare. Although a consummate reteller, he also published original fiction including The Luck of Troy (1961) and The Land of the Lord High Tiger (1958). He died in 1987.

About Geraldine McCaughrean

Geraldine McCaughrean has written over 180 books and plays, from children’s picture books to adult novels, and for every age in between. Twice winner of the Carnegie Medal, her other prizes include three Whitbread/Costa Awards, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Michael L. Printz Award. She has also retold dozens of myths and folk tales, her titles including Gilgamesh the Hero, The Orchard Book of Greek Myths, 100 World Myths and Legends, Britannia, The Odyssey and On the Day the World Began. Her novel Casting the Gods Adrift (1998) is set in ancient Egypt, in the time of the young Pharaoh Akhenaten.

About Romy Blümel

Romy Blümel graduated with a degree in Design and Illustration from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in 2008. Since then her work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, books and advertising. Her paintings have been exhibited in Shanghai, Seoul, Budapest, Paris, London and Antwerp. Blümel is a member of the Hamburg female artists’ collective Spring, which publishes the annual Spring magazine, an anthology of comics, illustration and free drawing. Blümel’s clients include The New Yorker, the International Herald Tribune, Die Zeit, Die Tageszeitung, Der Freitag, the Guardian Review, World of Interiors, MIT Technology Review, Los Angeles magazine, Condé Nast Traveller, the Financial Times and the Architectural Review, among others.


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