Edwards Letters

Scope and Content

Letters from Ameila Edwards to David Couper Thomson, possibly concerning Egyptian art books.

Administrative / Biographical History

Amelia Edwards was born in London on 7 June 1831 and educated at home, chiefly by her mother. As a child she was good at art, writing and music, and some of her poems and stories were published. As an adult she earned her living by writing. She wrote eight novels and many articles. She became interested in Egyptology and after a visit she paid to Egypt in 1873-1874 she abandoned all her literary interests. She formally founded the Egypt Exploration Fund in 1882, to carry out scientific excavation, and devoted herself to its work. She contributed many articles to journals on Egyptology. In 1889-1890 she went to the United States of America on a lecturing tour which was a great success. Edwards died in Weston-Super-Mare on 15 April 1892. She bequeathed her Egyptology library and collection of Egyptian antiquities to University College London. She also founded a Chair of Egyptology there and destined the first occupant to be Professor W M Flinders Petrie.

Access Information


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Collection level description.

Related Material

University College London Special Collections also holds seven letters to Miss Worral, 1879-1883 and undated. (Ref: MS ADD 181); six letters from Amelia Edwards to Miss Cave and one drawing, 1871-1874 and undated (Ref: MS ADD 182); three letters to Lady Petrie, 1884, 1888-1889 (Ref: MS ADD 184); eight miscellaneous letters to various correspondents, 1864-1889 and undated (Ref: MS MISC 3E); and a letter to Moses Gaster, 1891 (Ref: GASTER).

Oxford University, Griffith Institute, holds a notebook with various notes and extracts and albums containing watercolours and sketches, 1881-1888 and undated (Ref: MS.Collections); 15 letters to Aquila Dodgson (Ref: Dodgson MSS 1-6); and an album of biographical material. Oxford University, Somerville College Library, holds correspondence and literary papers, sketches and photographs, 1838-1892. The Egypt Exploration Society holds correspondence, notes, memoranda and papers, c1883-1891.