Explore Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in “The Woman Who Would Be King.”
Long before Pharaoh Nefertiti and Queen Cleopatra VII took power in ancient Egypt, there was a successful female ruler by the name of Hatshepsut who defied the usual tradition of having a male heir.
In Kara Cooney’s The Woman Who Would Be King, she details Hatshepsut’s rise to power. She was married to her brother Thutmose but failed to produce a male heir. He died young and she out-maneuvered her brother’s second wife for a place on the throne, which led to Hatshepsut being named co-regent for her nephew Thutmose III. Instead of regurgitating dry facts about the female Pharaoh’s life, Cooney weaves a fascinating tale that explores how Hatshepsut faced similar obstacles to today’s modern women.
Like women today, Hatshepsut too lived in a patriarchal society that did not like to see women rise too high and take over traditionally male roles. Cooney also illuminates how Hatshepsut was a master strategist and a fantastic marketer for her reign. Not only did she appear in male regalia in artwork, but she cloaked her political power plays in a veil of piety in order to endear herself to her people.
The Woman Who Would Be King adds that even though Hatshepsut’s images were destroyed within a few decades of her death, her reign was a long and prosperous one. Plus, Hatshepsut also set the tone for other strong-willed and politically savvy females in the 18th Dynasty, which included Queen Tiye and Nefertiti.
Whether you’re a fan of ancient Egypt or simply enjoy learning more about powerful, strong-willed woman, Kara Cooney mixes fact and speculation to create an engaging novel.