“Dreams of Amarna” – a very long term project!

Cover for the book "Nefertiti Lived Here", by Mary Chubb

Cover for the book "Nefertiti Lived Here", by Mary Chubb

This is  turning into a very big project, and there will be several posts with no embroidery in them. I will try to intersperse them with other projects too!

A good many years ago, I read a book called Nefertiti Lived Here, by Mary Chubb. It describes the author’s own experiences as Secretary to the Excavation in el-Amarna in the 1930s. Sounds as dry as the desert around the dig? Wrong. The book reads as well as a novel, and the characters of the archaeologists (led by the charismatic JDS Pendlebury), and some of the excavators, are beautifully described. The site itself, the Heretic Pharaoh and his beautiful wife Nefertiti, also become characters, and even for a non-Egyptologist, the book is entirely enchanting. I re-read it frequently.

As Mary Chubb was studying sculpture at the time she joined the expedition, it is perhaps not surprising that some of the artefacts they discovered are so vividly described or that the changes in Egyptian art in that period should have made such an impact on her, and through her on her readers.

Given my interest in embroidery, perhaps it is not surprising, either, that Mary Chubb’s fascination with Egyptian art should plant the germ of an idea for an embroidery…

Only a germ, unfortunately. It has taken years of thinking in the occasional idle moment for the idea to take sufficient shape that  I could begin to consider the materials to use or the form it would finally take. In the meantime, Mary Chubb has died (at the august age of 99, in 2003 – Times Obituary ) so my early wish to show her what she has inspired has fallen by the wayside.

But that is no reason not to do it!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Sounds like a good read! I like old Egyptian artifacts.

  2. karen says:

    can’t wait to see what you come up with here. I know I’ve said it before but I’m going to say it again, your work is glorious.

  3. Janice says:

    That sounds like me – taking literally years to think it through before getting started! But I’m looking forward to seeing how this takes shape, and having seen some of your other stuff I know it will be worth waiting for!

  4. […] clearly the felucca should figure at least once in my Dreams of Amarna panels! Equally, however, I need to develop the styles of embroidery I will use for the panels and […]