Amelia B. Edwards and Romantic Egyptology

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Amelia B. Edwards (1831–1892) was renowned for her profound mastery of Egyptology, possessing a knowledge some said surpassed that of her male counterparts. Her archaeological endeavours in Egypt merged with a vivid narrative approach, evident in seminal works such as A Thousand Miles up the Nile (1877) and her captivating lectures across Britain and America. This harmonious blend of meticulous observation and romantic aesthetics not only carved her niche as a distinguished Egyptologist, but also heralded her as a forerunner in public history, adept at fusing erudite exploration with charming storytelling. Set against the tapestry of the Romantic era, Edwards forged a distinctive narrative, eschewing traditional academic boundaries to imbue her writings with heartfelt sentiment. This article delves into Edwards’ impact on Egyptology’s popularization: from her pivotal 1873 Egyptian sojourn, followed by her compelling lectures, to her personally curated Egyptian collection at home. With an adept fusion of artistic verve and academic rigour, Edwards bridged literature and archaeology. Her legacy signifies a refreshing deviation from orthodox methodologies, presenting a more immersive perspective on ancient Egypt. In stark contrast to the staid styles of her contemporary archaeological peers, she proclaimed herself the only romancer also versed in Egyptology, ardently championing a scientific discourse with broader appeal.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbervcad040
Pages (from-to)266-286
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Victorian Culture
Issue number2
Early online date11 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2024


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