PHAROAH OF EGYPT
Here is an engaging and informative picture-book biography, lushly illustrated by award-winning artist Joseph Daniel Fiedler, of Egypt's only successful female pharaoh.
Hatshepsut gained Egypt's throne when all her male siblings -- including the half brother whom she married -- died. Originally named regent to her nephew, Tuthmosis III, Hatshepsut gradually assumed more and more power, and eventually had herself crowned pharaoh. Since no word existed for a female ruler, Hatshepsut used the male title. She also wore men's clothing and a beard, and referred to herself as "he" as well as "she."
Hatshepsut's reign was a peaceful and prosperous one. She sent an expedition to explore Punt, an exotic land of riches, and built beautiful monuments, including a magnificent temple on which she had artists carve and paint scenes from her life and reign.
Following her death, Tuthmosis III tried to erase evidence of Hatshepsut's reign to make it seem as though he had succeeded his father directly. Catherine M. Andronik explains how, despite this vandalism, archaeologists have been able to piece together the story of this unconventional pharaoh's remarkable and mysterious life. [via]