English author and Egyptologist
Born 1831 Died 1892
Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards, the daughter of one of Wellington's officers, was born in London on the 7th of June 1831. At a very early age she displayed considerable literary and artistic talent. She became a contributor to various magazines and newspapers, and besides many miscellaneous works she wrote eight novels, the most successful of which were Debenham's Vow (1870) and Lord Brackenbury (1880).
In the winter of 1873-1874 she visited Egypt, and was profoundly impressed by the new openings for archaeological research. She learnt the hieroglyphic characters, and made a considerable collection of Egyptian antiquities. In 1877 she published A Thousand Miles up the Nile, with illustrations by herself. Convinced that only by proper scientific investigations could the wholesale destruction of Egyptian antiquities be avoided, she devoted herself to arousing public opinion on the subject, and ultimately, in 1882, was largely instrumental in founding the Egypt Exploration Fund, of which she became joint honorary secretary with Reginald Stuart Poole. For the business of this Fund she abandoned her other literary work, writing only on Egyptology.
In 1889-1890 she went on a lecturing tour in the United States. The substance of her lectures was published in volume form in 1891 as Pharaohs, Fellahs, and Explorers. She died at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, on the 15th of April 1892, bequeathing her valuable collection of Egyptian antiquities to University College, London, together with a sum to found a chair of Egyptology. Miss Edwards received, shortly before her death, a civil list pension from the British government.
Being the entry for EDWARDS, AMELIA ANN BLANDFORD in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.