So did WS make 'River God' up?

Discussion about Wilbur Smith's Egyptian series.

So did WS make 'River God' up?

Postby Nefer » Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:18 pm

As the resistant fan(atic) who loves this book to bits, I thought I'd bring this up, as it is a burning question many fans would love to know the answer to!

I'd like it to be true, because I'm a romantic person, and let's face it, this book is full of un-requited love :wub:

However, the setting of the Middle Kingdom allows WS to make up a lot of his facts, as not a lot is known about the Pharaohs and administration of the period. Not to mention, I've done a web search on the name of the Egyptologist who apparently asked WS to write RG, with no luck. Not conclusive evidence, I know, as the world does not exist on the net, as we may like to believe! [schock]

This is a website that I came across in my futile search for Duraid Al-Simma, who, it seems, is a figment of WS's mind.

In addition to this inconclusive evidence, I was watching a PBS (Public Broadcasting Service, for our non-North American friends :mrgreen: ) special which was on Egypt's Golden Empire. The show dealt with many Pharaohs, including Akhenaton, one of my favs, and Rameses II, who I didn't know much about (but I did see his head in a museum once).

It turns out he was a warrior Pharoah with red hair (hello, TANUS!). His wife's tomb is also of note here - the person who spoke about Nefertari's (R II's principal Queen) tomb, said the paintings were unlike anything she'd ever seen. To paraphrase her, she said it was as though the artist was declaring his love for the Queen through the art.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? WS describes Taita doing a similar thing with Lostris' tomb - and Taita was very in love with her (which IMO is a little sick, seeing as how he's almost like a father-figure to her).

Now, as much as I hate to admit it, it seems that WS has led us on a very brilliant joy ride. RG may just be the most brilliant piece of fiction that we've ever read.

Feel free to disagree with me! :geek:
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Postby Bee » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:24 am

It could be true.

But one thing you have to remember is that most of the tombs were decorated that way. The Egyptians were obsessed with the After Life and poured so much wealth and you name it into their tombs be it from the pyramids to the Valley of the Kings. The common people worshipped their kings (they were the reincarnate god Re).

Also, the color of the hair can be taken as fact or fiction. Another thing the Ancient Egyptians liked to do was have the reliefs, carvings and/or paintings done in what they would like to happen in the Afterlife and so forth. It all depends on when it was drawn and so forth. But it could be that Ramses II had red hair who knows.

Personally, if WS was focusing his story on the Middle Kingdom it's kinda funny he would take a king from the New Kingdom as a role model for Tanus. Anyway, that's my little spiel.
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Postby Nefer » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:31 pm

The thing about the red hair is prove-able - they have Rameses II's mummy in Egypt, and his hair is still intact - seriously gross to look at.

And now that I think about it, the red could be from henna....
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Postby i_heart_nefie » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:50 pm

i think that the similarities between ancient egypt and river god are fascinating, but ultimately i don't really mind how ws wrote river god...i'd love it no matter what!
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Postby Bee » Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:20 am

Yeah but wouldn't it make you wonder about true Egyptian history and wouldn't you want to know more about that time?
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Postby Nefer » Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:23 pm

Definately yes! :mrgreen: Although my research in that dep't hasn't been going so well... But the uni can expect me this summer! [b18]
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Postby i_heart_nefie » Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:16 pm

i would love to know more about ancient egypt..i think my favourite era is the middle kingdom
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Postby Nefer » Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:41 am

Totally the wrong place to post this, but I'm going with the theme of being off-topic we seem to have going on!

There's a series of books by an author called Pauline Gedge, about the Middle Kingdom and the battle that was fought by the Egyptian nobles to regain Egypt. The 1st is called "Hippopotamous Marsh" (& I totally spelled hippo wrong!) - there are 3 in the series. The author does an awesome job of being historically accurate, IMO. And anyway, they present a viewpoint different than WS's. Not up to his standard but I found them to be really well written!

Enjoy your education!
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Postby Bee » Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:41 pm

Just a funky little tidbit of information. I know a girl named Tanus. It took me a while to remember where the name came from, but picked it up right away! River God! :D By the way, I think it's an awesome original name for a girl! What do you guys think? Kinda makes me wonder if one of her parents were RG fans... :lol:
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Postby Phils_jd » Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:42 am

Wasnnt Tanus a guy in RG?
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Postby Nefer » Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:40 am

Exactly :mrgreen:

Hence all the excitement!
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Postby Bee » Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:30 pm

Guy, schmy.... The exciting thing is that she's has the name Tanus! :D
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Postby John R » Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:03 am

I would put money on the parents being WS fans
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Postby Bee » Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:28 pm

I think so too... must remember to ask :shock:
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Postby i_heart_nefie » Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:33 pm

that is very strange, but i guess i can imagine a female tanus...does she have red-gold highlights!?! and green eyes?! lol
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Postby Phils_jd » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:24 am

poor little girl will grom up to be an ice hockey player
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Postby Bee » Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:58 am

She's got brown hair... and I didn't take a look at her eyes. So I have no clue. Now I just need to meet someone named Lostris. What are my chances at that?
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Postby i_heart_nefie » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:20 am

lol i dunno bee, hopefully you will and they can be best friends!
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Postby Phils_jd » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:10 pm

and go sailing off into the sunset
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Postby Egyptian Eyes » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:52 am

Thats interesting.

I read a little known ancient Egypt novel, Till Shiloh Comes by Gilbert Morris, wherein there was a character also named Lostris. The thing is, this Lostris was a male. It was rather strange since I have gotten used to thinking that Lostris is a girl's name.
But Lostris does sound rather pretty - and feminine.
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