Pharaoh and the Priest cover

Pharaoh and the Priest

Bolesław Prus (1847-1912)

1. Prefatory Remarks and Introduction
2. Chapter I
3. Chapter II
4. Chapter III
5. Chapter IV
6. Chapter V
7. Chapter VI
8. Chapter VII
9. Chapter VIII
10. Chapter IX
11. Chapter X
12. Chapter XI
13. Chapter XII
14. Chapter XIII
15. Chapter XIV
16. Chapter XV
17. Chapter XVI
18. Chapter XVII
19. Chapter XVIII
20. Chapter XIX
21. Chapter XX
22. Chapter XXI
23. Chapter XXII
24. Chapter XXIII
25. Chapter XXIV
26. Chapter XXV
27. Chapter XXVI
28. Chapter XXVII
29. Chapter XXVIII
30. Chapter XXIX
31. Chapter XXX
32. Chapter XXXI
33. Chapter XXXII
34. Chapter XXXIII
35. Chapter XXXIV
36. Chapter XXXV
37. Chapter XXXVI
38. Chapter XXXVII
39. Chapter XXXVIII
40. Chapter XXXIX
41. Chapter XL
42. Chapter XLI, part 1
43. Chapter XLI, part 2
44. Chapter XLII
45. Chapter XLIII
46. Chapter XLIV
47. Chapter XLV
48. Chapter XLVI
49. Chapter XLVII
50. Chapter XLVIII
51. Chapter XLIX
52. Chapter L
53. Chapter LI
54. Chapter LII
55. Chapter LIII
56. Chapter LIV
57. Chapter LV, part 1
58. Chapter LV, part 2
59. Chapter LVI
60. Chapter LVII, part 1
61. Chapter LVII, part 2
62. Chapter LVIII
63. Chapter LIX
64. Chapter LX
65. Chapter LXI, part 1
66. Chapter LXI, part 2
67. Chapter LXII
68. Chapter LXIII
69. Chapter LXIV
70. Chapter LXV, part 1
71. Chapter LXV, part 2
72. Chapter LXVI
73. Chapter LXVII

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Genres

Summary

The Pharaoh and the Priest (Polish: Faraon) is the fourth and last major novel by the Polish writer Bolesław Prus. It was the sole historical novel by an author who had earlier disapproved of historical novels on the ground that they inevitably distort history. Pharaoh has been described by Czesław Miłosz as a "novel on mechanisms of state power and, as such, probably unique in world literature of the nineteenth century.... Prus, in selecting the reign of 'Pharaoh Ramses XIII' in the eleventh century BCE, sought a perspective that was detached from pressures of topicality and censorship. Pharaoh is set in the Egypt of 1087–85 BCE as that country experiences internal stresses and external threats that will culminate in the fall of its Twentieth Dynasty and New Kingdom. The young protagonist Ramses learns that those who would challenge the powers that be are vulnerable to co-option, seduction, subornation, defamation, intimidation and assassination. Perhaps the chief lesson, belatedly absorbed by Ramses as pharaoh, is the importance, to power, of knowledge. Prus' vision of the fall of an ancient civilization derives some of its power from the author's intimate awareness of the final demise of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795, a century before the completion of the novel.