This work is itself a monument of Egypt. It consists chiefly of 419 copper engravings of Egypt's monuments made by and for Napoleon's ill-fated Egyptian campaign (1798-1801) in superb reproductions. Included are 30 color plates and 79 double plates.
In addition there is a concordance of plates, a map prepared from the larger maps made for the topographical atlas, informative notes and two fascinating, instructive essays by the editors. Gillispie, a professor of the history of science at Princeton, offers a detailed historical introduction about the invasion and its scholarly auxiliaries (150 scientists and artist of various sorts who accompanied the invading forces)... Dewachter, of the College de France, describes the Egyptian ruins that Napoleon and the auxiliaries shipped back to France...The most enduring and the most important monument to the expedition is the original masterpiece compiled by its scholars, The Description of Egypt, of which the book being reviewed may be considered about one-quarter. Magnificent. (Frank Geitlein, Smithsonian)