Also today I’m on the blog tour for Raiders of the Hidden Ark by Graham Addison, a comprehensive account of the Parker expedition to Jerusalem…….

about the book

Title: Raiders of the Hidden Ark
Author: Graham Addison
Genre: Non-Fiction
Estimated page count: 297
Formats available: Paperback, Hardback and eBook.  Available on Kindle Unlimited
Publisher: Edgcumbe Press (29 July 2021)
Tour organised by: Random Things Tours

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:

  • ‘Have Englishmen Found the Ark of the Covenant?’ – New York Times 7th May 1911
  • ‘Englishmen Are Said To Have Looted the Sacred Mosque at Jerusalem’ – Chicago Tribune 4th May 1911
  • ‘A Treasure Hunt in Jerusalem. British Explorers’ Alleged Sacrilege’ – The Guardian 4th May 1911
  • ‘Theft of Relics in the Jerusalem Mosque of Omar’ – Vossische Zeitung 2nd May 1911
  • ‘The Parker expedition, Excitement in Jerusalem, Allegations against the explorers’ – Sydney Morning Herald 6th May 1911

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.

Purchase links: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

my thoughts

Raiders of the Hidden Ark is a compelling, interesting, thoroughly researched and comprehensive account of the Parker Expedition, where a group of ex-Etonian’s set off to Jerusalem in search of the Ark of the Covenant; believing they knew where to find it.  What they thought wouldn’t be too challenging, turned into numerous digs, riots, investigations and unrest.

This book introduces you to the main participants of the group – their backgrounds, what they were doing before the dig and where they were after; as well as providing an extremely detailed account of the expedition over the years,  Some of the things they did will make you cringe – especially in the days of so much health and safety! And for any archaeologists out there, the initial lack of recording will also make you squirm!

The behaviour of these wealthy men will certainly shock you at times, especially when it comes to their disregard for the culture and country they were in.  As well as the amount of money they were willing to throw at their quest!

So if you’re a history fan like me and are interested in learning about an expedition that was nearly forgotten, then this is for you!

about the author

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.

Where to find Graham online: Website ~ Twitter | @GrahamAddison7

follow the tour

Thank you to Anne for inviting me on to the tour and to the author and publisher for a copy of the book.  All views and opinions are my own.

Have a wonderful day my loves.

Chelle x

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