Welcome to my Raiders of the Hidden Ark by Graham Addison review. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for my spot on the tour. I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Raiders of the Hidden Ark is the story of the Parker expedition to Jerusalem in search of the Ark of the Covenant. Raiders of the Hidden Ark is out now from Edgcumbe Press in hardback, paperback and ebook.
As soon as I saw this book is about a search for the Ark of the Covenant my interest piqued. I’ve dabbled in archaeology and know it’s been an object of obsession for many. For those that might not know, the Ark of the Covenant is a wooden chest covered in pure gold decoration. It was created to house the Ten Commandments which Moses received from God. The design described in detail by God to Moses, is recorded in the Bible. At the time of it’s creation (over 3,000 years ago) it was a hugely significant religious object to the Israelites. It’s historical and cultural significance still remains and is the inspiration for the Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Addison’s book focuses on the Parker expedition, a motley crew who in 1909 sailed to Jerusalem in search of the Ark. The book is written for a general audience and the writing style is very accessible. It’s also very fascinating! It’s clear that Addison has put in a great deal of research and some sources are completely new or presented in English for the first time. The book is richly detailed with photographs of the sources which helps to create a picture in the reader’s mind. I found the writing immersive, exciting and in places almost unbelievable. Seriously, reading some of the details I just thought ‘you couldn’t make it up’. It’s an absolutely brilliant adventure story and even better it’s all real!
The book begins with the significance of Ark itself, then describes the members of the expedition and their motivation, and how the expedition was planned and funded. It goes on to give details of the expedition itself, or more accurately three expeditions, the implications of the expedition on geopolitics (both in Jerusalem and more widely) and what became of the expedition members. I think this book has wide appeal, for fans of both fiction and non fiction. It reads just as captivatingly as any work of historical fiction or adventure, and will also naturally be of interest to fans of history, archaeology or theology.
Do check out the other stops on this tour, see poster below for details.
The cover blurb for Raiders of the Hidden Ark by Graham Addison:
Where is the Ark of the Covenant? One of the Bible’s most sacred and powerful objects has not been seen for over 2,500 years.
At the start of the 20th century a group of Europeans believed they knew the answer. The story of the Parker expedition seems stranger than fiction and includes aristocrats, poets, psychics, secret cyphers in the Bible, a deadly curse, bribery, gun-running, riots, and madness. It sounds unbelievable but the Parker expedition is real. Rudyard Kipling, who knew several expedition members, wrote ‘Talk of fiction! Fiction isn’t in it’.
The expedition started when a Finnish scholar had convinced a group of young Englishmen from wealthy and titled families he had uncovered secret cyphers in the Bible showing where the Ark was hidden. They were educated at Eton, had fought in elite units of the British military and socialised with European royalty and wealthy Americans. One had thwarted an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria. Another had helped spark the Boer War. Most of the funding came from the family of one of the richest men to have ever lived in Australia. With them were a Swiss psychic, a Finnish poet, and a Swedish captain who had experienced the darkest heart of colonial madness in the Belgian Congo. They headed for Jerusalem on a private yacht to dig for the Ark.
They spent several years and a fortune digging underground in Jerusalem and in the course of their search for the Ark they unwittingly ‘scattered sparks in the religious tinder-heap’ that is Jerusalem. The expedition caused riots and disorder resulting in a parliamentary enquiry and headlines around the world.
The story has never been told in full in English before. Graham Addison’s research has uncovered many new details. He skilfully weaves these together in the amazing story of the individuals who in 1909 sailed for Jerusalem. He examines who the adventurers were, what happened while they were in Jerusalem and what became of them.
About the Author
My first love is history, which is what I obtained my degree in from Leeds University. I have lived in Scotland and France and now reside in Berkshire in the south of England.
My first love is history, which is what I obtained my degree in from Leeds University.
I am married with two children, who are no longer children, have lived in Scotland and France and now reside in Berkshire in the south of England.
History may be my first love but I have spent the last thirty-five years helping create the modern world. If you love the world of mobile communications, personal computing, spreadsheets, instantly being able to search for any answer in the world and online financial transactions then I played a small part in its creation. If you hate a world in which people spent all their time on their phones, can’t be bothered to remember anything because they can always look it up, you are asked to fill in yet another spreadsheet and can’t deal with an individual because you are always dealing with a computer then I am sorry, it wasn’t all my fault.
A few years ago I decided that wanted to do something different. I came back to my first love and have now written a book, which seeks to shed new flight on an almost forgotten episode. I hope you will enjoy it.