The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt
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The Cat of Bubastes is a historical novel written by British author G.A. Henty in 1889. The novel is set in ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Amasis II, around 550 BC. It tells the story of a young prince, named Amuba, who is taken captive by the invading Assyrians and sold into slavery. With the help of his Egyptian friend, Jethro, and a sacred cat named Sheba, Amuba escapes and seeks refuge in the city of Thebes.
The novel is notable for its rich depiction of ancient Egyptian culture, customs, and beliefs. Henty was known for his meticulously researched historical fiction, and The Cat of Bubastes is no exception. The novel is filled with vivid descriptions of daily life in ancient Egypt, including the role of the pharaoh, the importance of religion, and the practice of embalming.
At the heart of the novel is the story of Amuba and Jethro, two very different characters who become unlikely friends. Amuba is a young prince who has lived a life of privilege, while Jethro is a commoner who works as a charioteer. Despite their differences, the two bond over their shared experiences and their love for Egypt.
One of the most memorable characters in the novel is Sheba, the sacred cat of the temple of Bubastes. In ancient Egypt, cats were revered as sacred animals, and Henty uses Sheba as a symbol of the Egyptian culture and way of life. Sheba plays a key role in the plot, helping Amuba and Jethro escape from their captors and guiding them on their journey to Thebes.
Throughout the novel, Henty explores themes of loyalty, courage, and friendship. Amuba and Jethro face numerous challenges and obstacles on their journey, but they remain steadfast in their determination to survive and find a new home in Egypt. Their friendship is tested by the trials they face, but ultimately, it is their bond that helps them overcome adversity.
The Cat of Bubastes was widely praised for its accuracy and attention to detail, and it remains a popular work of historical fiction today. It is a captivating and exciting adventure story that transports readers to ancient Egypt, immersing them in the sights, sounds, and customs of this fascinating culture.