Friday, 2 February 2018

Author’s Inspiration ~ Yvonne Harlech #HistoricalFiction #Egypt @YvonneHarlech

Please give a warm welcome to historical fiction author, Yvonne Harlech.

Author’s Inspiration

I was inspired to write Mistress of the Temple when I first travelled to Egypt back in 2002. While reading Abydos: Holy City of Ancient Egypt, followed by The Search for Omm Sety, I began to appreciate the incredible life of Dorothy Eady (aka Omm Sety) and I immediately saw the fictional potential in her story. There was so much more to say about Bentreshy and I felt a novel could fill in the blanks, give a voice to a heroine who’d been rendered silent.

A few years later I set off on a powerful journey, retracing Omm Sety’s footsteps back to Abydos, where she believed she’d once lived as Priestess Bentreshy, over three thousand years ago...

Wandering around the exquisite Temple of King Sety the 1st I imagined how Bentreshy had once lived and worshipped as a priestess, and how she’d fallen in love with King Sety – right there in the temple garden where I stood in rapture – now a mass of sand and ruins, but springing to life in my imagination.

Image of Seti I from his temple in Abydos.

 Through Bentreshy’s eyes I perceived that the Osirian Festival was a great time of celebration, bringing the temple priesthood and local people together, with everyone dancing, singing and enjoying a communal feast in the name of Osiris. Through this divine connection, they too would travel to the Afterlife and live as Eternal Beings. By writing about Bentreshy, I felt I was bringing her back to life, allowing her to speak after thousands of years of silence. That was very inspiring to me and kept me motivated to finish the two books.

Yvonne Harlech
Born in Scotland, Yvonne Harlech developed a love of myths and legends and all things magical. As a child her mother was offered a teaching position in Canada, and so mother and daughter left for Montreal to begin their new adventure. Grappling with a different country, Harlech’s growing consciousness was echoed in the wild landscape, the immigrant’s sense of exile and search for an individual voice. She went on to study English Literature at Concordia University and later returned to the UK in search of her roots. Harlech now lives in Cheshire with her husband where she writes about Egyptian, Celtic and Roman history. Harlech has written two historical novels, Mistress of the Temple and Harp of Joy, set in ancient Egypt. The books explore ancient Egypt’s mystical dimension, its dramatic myths and history. The author is currently writing a novel about Romano-Britain, when a new kingdom emerges out of invasion and the collision of myths and cultures.

Yvonne loves to hear from readers, you can find her: Website Twitter

Mistress of the Temple

In the temple of Abydos in 1290 BC, a young priestess is ready to serve Isis, goddess of wisdom and healing. But when she meets King Sety I in the temple garden, her destiny suddenly changes, and she can no longer fulfil her promise to the temple. The pair must battle against the mighty priesthood and challenge the many prejudices of the court.

In 1904 the young Dorothy Eady is haunted by memories of ancient Egypt, where she once worshipped the gods and lived in a glorious temple - until her world came to an abrupt end. Driven by the desire to unravel her mysterious dreams Dorothy travels to Egypt and embarks on a dramatic journey, back to the reign of King Sety I, where her life once began.


  1. I did not know Dorothy Eady's story before. Fascinating! Thank you for sharing your inspiration with us.

  2. This is fascinating. I love Egypt too and look forward to seeing your Roman book published too.


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