The Shadow KingThe Shadow King: The bizarre afterlife of King Tut’s mummy

Published in June 2013

Award-winning science writer Jo Marchant traces the story of King Tutankhamun’s mummy from its first brutal autopsy in 1925 to the most recent arguments over its DNA. From the glamorous treasure hunts of the 1920s to today’s high-tech scans in volatile modern Egypt, Marchant introduces us to the brilliant and sometimes flawed people who have devoted their lives to revealing the mummy’s secrets, unravels the truth behind the hyped up TV documentaries, and explains what science can and can’t tell us about King Tutankhamun.


Hugely enjoyable…luminous and illuminating…rich in bright perception. The Guardian.

Ms. Marchant expounds Tut’s scientific aspects and mysteries with engaging clarity. Wall Street Journal

Jo Marchant lifts the golden mask…[a] rip-roaring story. Nature

[A] thoughtful account of the post-unearthing life of the famous royal. Smithsonian magazine

Science journalism at its best…intense and exciting…like a fast-paced detective novel, with cliff-hanger chapter endings and breathtaking impetus. City Book Review

An unusual, gripping spin on the familiar. New Scientist

Captivating…haunting…compelling. American Way

Remarkable…tragic…none of those previous Tutankhamun books has the sheer crackle of The Shadow King. Open Letters Monthly

A wild ride. Sacramento Bee

A rare book: journalism as lively as a mystery novel, researched as first rate science. Book News

Science journalist Jo Marchant is not prepared to accept what she is told without examining the underlying evidence…she tells a fascinating story which, quite rightly, presents us with facts and interpretations rather than certainties. Ancient Egypt magazine

Jo Marchant has chosen to do something more interesting than rehash the big moment [of the tomb’s discovery]. Instead, she has written a thrilling account of what has happened to the mummy…The Shadow King shows our human failings, most notably greed and pride. Literary Review


Jo Marchant talks to Nick Higham about The Shadow King
BBC Meet the Author 11 July 2013 Watch here

Jo Marchant talks to Alok Jha about the history, science, politics – and curse – of King Tut’s mummy
The Guardian Science Weekly podcast 10 June 2013 Listen here

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