Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards (1831-1892), Novelist and egyptologist
Sitter in 4 portraits
Unusually for Victorian women travel writers, Amelia Edwards was already a successful novelist before she started travelling. In the 1860s she embarked on a series of expeditions, to Europe and Egypt. Her account of this latter trip, A Thousand Miles up the Nile, was the first general archaeological survey of Egypt's ruins. It made her name and changed the direction of her life. Edwards was central in founding the discipline of Egyptology, setting up the Egypt Exploration Fund in 1882. She left her library and collection of antiquities to University College, London, as well as a bequest that established the first English chair in Egyptology.