First Line Friday & The Friday 56: The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Bettany Hughes

Posted February 2, 2024 by Stephanie in First Line Friday, the friday 56 / 11 Comments

First Line Friday is hosted by Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower.
The Friday 56 is hosted by Anne @ My Head is Full of Books while Freda @ Freda’s Voice is on hiatus.




where each week we share the first line of our current read(s)

In 1303 CE a monstrous earthquake ripped through the Eastern Mediterranean.



where each week we share a snippet from page 56 or 56%

Nathaniel Davison, a British diplomat, was the first we know of in modern times to crawl his way up inside the Pyramid from the Grand Gallery, through a tunnel in its south wall, into the stone attic above the King’s Chamber, in 1765. Sporting a pigtail, one of the very last of his age to do so, Davison described having to force his way through mounds of bat dung as he approached. I too have found myself having to do this in tombs in Egypt, and I feel for Davison. The stench is overwhelming, the caress of hundreds of disturbed bats panic-inducing. But in truth, Davison had to right to be there. He not only left his name brazenly graffitied across the Pyramid’s walls, but, ahistorically and incongruously, this extraordinary example of Ancient Egyptian engineering is still called Davison’s Chamber today.


‘This is an entrancing book, at once a love letter to the ancient world and a learned introduction to some of the most astonishing feats of imagination and engineering in human history.’
Dan Jones, author of Powers and Thrones; A New History of the Middle Ages

Their names still echo down the ages: The Great Pyramid at Giza. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Temple of Artemis. The statue of Zeus at Olympia. The mausoleum of Halikarnassos. The Colossus at Rhodes. The Lighthouse of Alexandria. The Seven Wonders of the World were staggeringly audacious impositions on our planet. They were also brilliant adventures of the mind, test cases of the reaches of human imagination. Now only the pyramid remains, yet the scale and majesty of these seven wonders still enthral us today.

In a thrilling, colourful narrative enriched with the latest archaeological discoveries, bestselling historian Bettany Hughes walks through the landscapes of both ancient and modern time; on a journey whose purpose is to ask why we wonder, why we create, why we choose to remember the wonder of others. She explores traces of the Wonders themselves, and the traces they have left in history. A majestic work of historical storytelling, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World reinforces the exciting, and nourishing, notion that humans can make the impossible happen.




What do you think of the snippets I featured today?
Have you read this book? Do you want to?



11 responses to “First Line Friday & The Friday 56: The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Bettany Hughes

  1. Happy Saturday! 😀
    I’m just beginning While the City Sleeps by Elizabeth Camden. I’ve only read chapters 1 & 2 so far, but they’re very pull-the-reader-in kind of chapters.
    “Keeping the forces of darkness and corruption at bay was a never-ending battle, but Jonathan would pay any price to keep his city safe.”
    I hope you have an excellent weekend! 😀📚

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)