History's Women: Misc. Articles: Amelia B. Edwards, English Novelist and EgyptologistAmelia B. Edwards
English Novelist and Egyptologist
1831 – 1892 A.D.

For scholarship and variety Miss Edwards has had few equals in the century. She held the degrees of L.H.D. and L.L.D., was a member of the “Biblical Archaeological Society,” of the “Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies,” of the “Oriental Congress,” and was secretary of the “Egypt Exploration Fund.”

Miss Edwards was born in London. Her father was an army officer and her mother was of a famous family. Her education was received mainly at home under the instruction of her mother and special tutors.

At the age of seven she wrote a poem entitled The Knights of Old, which was published in a weekly journal. For seven years she continued to write for the press. She then turned to music and composed  several acceptable pieces. Later she turned again to literature and decided to make it her profession. Among her numerous novels are, The Ladder of Life, Half a Million of Money, and Lord Breckenburg. The last name passed through fifteen editions.

She came to be known chiefly as an Egyptologist and wrote, A Thousand Miles up the Nile, Pharaohs, Fellahs, and Explorers. She translated Maspero’s Egyptian Archaelogy, and wrote for the Encyclopædia Britannica on Egyptology.

Her books of travel are scholarly and yet popular. She has digested and presented a vast amount of archæological information and has rendered a notable service to the world of non-technical readers. Her books on Egyptology are illustrated by sketches made by herself, and are written in a style which makes them as fascinating as fiction.

In 1899 Miss Edwards lectured in the United States. One who heard her says,

“Her rare and voluminous learning, her quiet grace and perfect naturalness, her dainty touches of humor, charmed and impressed one that she well filled her own description of an antiquarian, —’ one possessing indomitable courage and will, unswerving patience and energy, and an impregnable constitution, besides the love of discovering unrevealed history.'”


Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.

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