Letters from Egypt
Letters from Egypt


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Letters from Egypt

(7 customer reviews)


When Mary went to Egypt to start a school for girls, she never thought she would stay so long. Her letters back to her family in England reveal Egyptian culture, weather, traditions, animals, plants, and more. A fascinating living geography book from 1879 that will touch your mind, your imagination, and your heart. (Grades 4–12) See full description

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Product Description

A fascinating living geography book from 1879!

My Good Friends,

By God’s providence I have been led to settle in this distant land, and can but seldom visit England; however, I do not forget friends there, for whom I always have felt great interest. One day it came to my mind that I might do some little good to old folk at home—and perhaps to the young, too—in spite of being so far off, and having a large school to look after, and several other things; and this was my idea:—that I would write some simple familiar accounts of the land of Egypt where I dwell…

Mary Whately’s letters paint a fascinating picture of life in Egypt in 1879. And her insight into customs, culture, and climate ring true even today. Plus, many Bible quotations and allusions are woven throughout the letters, along with illustrations of how life in Egypt reminded Mary of those passages. Letters from Egypt is a living geography book that will touch your mind, your imagination, and your heart.

  • Living Geography—Learn about the people, customs, and climate of Egypt in these letters from a Christian friend.
  • Biblical Insights—Gain a greater understanding of the culture and how it is reflected in so many Scripture verses.
  • Missionary Emphasis—See the mixed multitude of people and be stirred to pray for the work of the Lord among them.
  • Recommended—Listed as a suggested resource for grades 4–12 in Visits to Africa.

Additional Information

Weight.6 lbs
Dimensions8.5 × 5.5 × .5 in




E-book, Trade Paper


Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12, Grade 4

Lesson Plan

Genesis through Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt


7 reviews for Letters from Egypt

  1. mrskatie

    At what grade would you use this? I have a six yr old – would it be too much to read aloud to him? Should I wait a few years?

    • mrskatie

      Okay, I need an edit button 😉 I just saw on the top of the page, “suggested grades 3 to 12”

      • Sonya

        Still a good question, mrskatie. I’ll use this opportunity to elaborate on the suggested grades. 😉
        I wouldn’t necessarily read this one to my 6- or 7-year old by himself. However, if you are reading it aloud to the older children, I don’t recall there being anything in it that might upset the younger ones. You can allow them to listen in. I just think the older ones would be able to follow the writing style a little easier.

  2. JK

    You can get this book for free on google books! Do a google book search for the author – because of copywright laws it is free!

    • JK

      Oh – and also “The Cat of Bubastus” falls under the copyright laws, too! Look for it for free in google books!

    • Sonya

      Thanks for mentioning these, JK. I love Google Books!

      Yes, the original Letters from Egypt is in public domain, but we had a really hard time finding it in print. And since, overall, it was such a good fit for our Genesis through Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt study, we wanted to make it available once again in print.

      I say “overall” because the original version contains a few things that I would omit or reword were I reading it aloud to my children, so the SCM version reflects those changes. For example, the original version has some opinions stated as universal facts that, unfortunately, do not contribute to the unity of Christians. We’ve changed those portions in our version.

      We’ve also added Scripture references to the author’s many quotations and allusions to Biblical tie-ins to life in Egypt, so you can find those passages easily.

      Just wanted to mention these differences so you could have a heads-up if you choose to use the Google Books version.

      • JK

        Oh – that is fantastic! What a way to weave God into the book. Nice job!

      • roseannvj

        Thank you very much for explaining how The SCM version is different. Those changes will be very helpful, and I’m glad to know there is a difference between the google books version and yours. Knowing this, helped me solidify that I DO need to buy it.

  3. Shanna

    Where would you add this in for the Module 1 guide? Would you recommend just having your older children read it or do as a read aloud for the whole family?

    • Sonya

      The easiest way is to read about 5 pages one day a week. Since the Genesis through Deuteronomy handbook is set up for 4 days/week, you could easily read this on that fifth day or add it to the day you do map drill.

      I think the whole family would be able to glean from it, especially the Scripture tie-ins. But you know your children better than I do, of course, so feel free to download the sample and read a chapter or two to help in your decision. Either way would be fine; do what works best for your family.

  4. Linda

    Thanks Sonya, for having it available in print. As much as I like Google Books, I prefer to have the convenience of a printed and bound copy in my hands. I have lots of google books saved but have yet to print and actually read them.

  5. Stephanie

    I just want to add our results. I know it is recommended for 3rd through 12th grade but I have been using it this year with my five and six year olds. Of course they haven’t understood everything but they have taken in the big picture. It has had such an impact that when their AWANA books asked what country they would like to be a missionary in, they said Egypt so they could “help the poor people and see the Nile river.” I contribute that entirely to their study of this book.

  6. marien ward

    it would be awesome to have this available as audio book 🙂

  7. Blaire

    This book is extremely judgmental and hurtful. I am beyond upset that I wasted $16.00 on this book and actually am going to request a refund. There should of been more descriptions on here about the level of Christianity this would entail. We have always gotten most of our books and curriculum from this website since we are CM followers. Although, we are non religious & secular homeschoolers so we have never chosen the History subjects due to them following the bible.

    I knew this book might have a simple Christian flare and we have been fine with scriptures here and there but this book just crosses the line! She speaks badly about Mohammed with relation to the Muslims. It also speaks negatively about the Ancient Africans for idolizing different gods and worshiping animals. Calling them “ignorant” and “naive”, all words quoted from the book. She claims that they did not understand the truth of Christianity and that she considered them “uneducated” and “blind”. Very judgemental tones in her language and wordings she chose.

    My child almost age 11 was quite offended. He begged me to stop reading the book due to how judgmental she was towards other beliefs and this hurt his feelings. I pushed on in hopes it would stop after the first two chapters but I was wrong. After growing very angry with the story I chose to stop. In our family we do not believe in judging others for their beliefs. We teach respect. This book does not fit into our family morals.

    I am just disappointed that the description didn’t in fact state that this would be offensive to other religions reading this. As well as being disappointed that this was the book that was needed to do the African Geography “Visits to Africa” mapping drills. There should of been secular options for other CM families.

    • Sonya Shafer

      I’m sorry that you were disappointed with the book, Letters from Egypt, Blaire. You are welcome to take advantage of our 30-day money back guarantee and return it for a refund. In the future, we encourage you to download the free samples of our books, so you can get a closer look before buying and make sure each one is a good fit for your family.

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