Amelia Edwards – 17 October 2012

Following the Annual General Meeting Dr Aidan Dodson from Bristol University Department of  Archeology and Anthropology and the Egypt Society of Bristol gave us a fascinating account of the life of Amelia Edwards. Amelia Edwards was primarily responsible for obtaining funding for the proper recording of excavations. She did this through the Egypt Exploration Fund she set up and raised most of the funds.

The website link provides the following summary

In the winter of 1873-74 a redoubtable English lady novelist and travel writer, Miss Amelia Edwards, was driven by wet weather in Europe to the sunnier and warmer climate of Egypt.

With several friends she hired a houseboat, a dahabiyeh, and they travelled up the Nile from Cairo to Abu Simbel, a journey which Miss Edwards described in her book, A Thousand Miles up the Nile, first published in 1876 and reprinted many times since.

The book became a bestseller, not only for the fascinating view it gave of nineteenth century Egypt but also for its description of the antiquities of the ancient civilisation which were, at that time, largely unexcavated and neglected.

Amelia Edwards, together with Reginald Stuart Poole of the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, founded the Egypt Exploration Fund in 1882 in order, as announced at the time in several daily newspapers, ‘to raise a fund for the purpose of conducting excavations in the Delta, which up to this time has been very rarely visited by travellers’.

Amelia Edwards is buried in Henbury Churchyard in the grave of the friend she lived with in Westbury on Trym for the last decades of her life..

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