Christian Jacq is the most widely read French author in the world.
Born in Paris in 1947, Christian Jacq inadvertently stumbled on his destiny at the age of thirteen, while reading a work of three volumes, The History of Civilisation in Ancient Egypt by Jacques Pirenne. He was already penning poems, when he embarked on novel writing, he was to complete eight in five years, as well as an opera libretto! At seventeen, he got married before finishing school and together with his young wife, spent his honeymoon in pursuit of his dream: first stop, ancient Memphis; first encounter, a giant reclining figure of the great Ramesses II … From this moment on the dye was cast.
At the age of twenty-one, he published his first book, a study on the ties between Ancient Egypt and the Middle Ages. At the same time he abandoned his philosophy studies to take up archaeology and Egyptology, leading to a Bachelor’s, a Master’s and a Doctorate degree in Egyptology at the Sorbonne. His thesis was entitled The Journey through the Netherworld as Perceived in Ancient Egypt: the Trials and Metamorphoses of Death According to Inscriptions Found in Pyramids and Sarcophagi.., and was published in 1986. A University career opened up before him.
But more than anything else, Christian Jacq’s passion is writing and he publishes twenty or more academic articles, including Egypt of the Great Pharaohs published by the Librairie académique Perrin in 1981, an essay which was awarded an honour by the Académie Française. He was also an assistant producer at France-Culture, and in particular worked on the programme “Pathways to knowledge”. Literary success catches up with him in 1987 with his novel Champollion the Egyptian. The book’s huge success bowls him over. At forty years of age, he himself says that he is living his childhood dream.
In order to dedicate himself to this dream, he leaves Paris with his wife and their dog, Geb, and settles into a house-cum-library with more than ten thousand reference works, without counting the scientific journals and photographs … From this point on Egypt plays an extraordinary part in his life… correction, Egypt is his life! The popular passion that each of his books engenders in his public, while taking him slightly by surprise, does not divert his attention from his punishing work routine, from twelve to fourteen hours a day. Novels, articles, illustrated books… For his The Tutenkhamun Affair he is awarded the Prix des Maisons de la Presse in 1992 and his trilogy The Judge of Egypt, stayed on the best-seller list for a year, from 1993 to 1994 (selling more than 300,000 copies), indeed volume 3 (Justice of the Vizier) soon gained first place on the list compiled by the magazine L’Express.
In addition, the ex-director of the Ramesses Institute not only worked on a “photographic description of Egypt” and on the publication of hieroglyphic texts, but as a member of various egyptology societies, Christian Jacq also engaged himself in the exploration of Pharaonic sites, an activity which further strengthened the ties that exist between him and this mythical land.
In 1995, Christian Jacq put himself a new challenge: writing five volumes about Ramses II’s life… Then followed the successful Stone of Light (four volumes, 2000), and Liberty Queen (three volumes, 2002) which sold 23 million copies throughout the world. So became Christian Jacq the most read writer of the globe!
In 2003 and 2004 were finally published the four volumes of The Mysteries of Osiris saga.