The Cat of Bubastes
|Illustrator||John Reinhard Weguelin|
|Genre||Young adult novel|
|Publisher||Blackie and Son Ltd., London|
|3 September 1888 but dated 1889|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
The Cat of Bubastes, A Tale of Ancient Egypt (1889) is a historical novel for young people by British author G.A. Henty. It is the story of a young prince who becomes a slave when the Egyptians conquer his people, then is made a fugitive when his master accidentally kills a sacred cat. The book was illustrated by John Reinhard Weguelin, a notable Victorian painter.
The novel takes place in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt, on or around 1250 B.C.
After his father, the king of the Rebu, is killed in battle with the Egyptian army and the Rebu nation is conquered by the Egyptians, the young prince Amuba is carried away as a captive to Egypt, along with his faithful charioteer, Jethro. In Thebes, Amuba becomes the servant and companion to Chebron, the son of Ameres, high priest of Osiris. The lads become involved in a mystery as they begin to uncover evidence of a murderous conspiracy within the ranks of the priesthood. However, before they are able to prevent it, they are forced to flee for their lives when they accidentally cause the death of the successor to the Cat of Bubastes, one of the most sacred animals in Egypt. With Jethro as their guide and protector, the boys make plans to escape from Egyptian territory and return to Amuba's homeland.
Though the novel is set prior to the beginnings of Christianity and focuses on Egyptians rather than Jews, Judeo-Christian themes are still present. The two Rebu, Amuba and Jethro, look at the many Egyptian superstitions and veneration of animals with amusement and disdain. Ameres, the priest of Osiris, is a progressive who has embraced monotheism, believing that the various gods of the Egyptian pantheon actually represent different facets of the character of one true God. The Hebrews are present in parts of Egypt, and, though most have accepted the worship of the Egyptian gods, a few still hold to the religion of the God of Abraham. A servant-girl named Ruth often proclaims her belief in the God of the Hebrews. Moses himself makes a cameo appearance, prior to his call to lead the Exodus from Egypt.
Text on Project Gutenberg * .
Audio on Internet Archive * .
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