The Sisters of Sinai

The Sisters of Sinai

How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Lost Gospels

Book - 2009
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Narrative non-fiction at its fascinating best: to the astonishment of the academic world, two audacious Scottish Victorian ladies make an exciting discovery of an early New Testament manuscript on Mount Sinai.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9781400041336
Characteristics: xii, 316 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.


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bibliotechnocrat Jun 09, 2014

Scottish Victorian twins, Agnes and Margaret, travel to a remote monastery and discover the earliest version of the four gospels located to date. That they are equipped to recognize their find, and that two respectable ladies were comfortable travelling alone (nine days by camel) in an age of profound sexism, makes for a charming, amusing, and unlikely tale. It's as if Miss Marple and her twin decide to pursue an interest in ancient languages and manuscripts, rather than murder.

Used to being underestimated, the sisters navigate the rigid social and intellectual world they inhabit on their own terms, largely ignoring the limitations imposed. They embarrass Cambridge University (where they live) by not only finding these ancient texts, but providing serious and scholarly analysis of the material - this in an age when women could not receive a degree of any kind from the institution. If you enjoyed The Riddle of the Labyrinth, you'll race through this one too.


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