|Birth: ||Jun. 7, 1831|
Greater London, England
|Death: ||Apr. 15, 1892|
Author and a founder of modern Egyptology. She was born at St. Leonards, London and the only child of middle class parents. Her father was a retired army officer and her mother entirely educated her at home. They encouraged her to be expressive and radical and this gave her lifelong liberal ideas. At an early age she revealed outstanding gifts for music, art and writing and began publishing poems and later stories from the age of 7. During her mid teens she contemplated for several years a career as a singer and organist but subsequently abandoned the idea for a more lucrative one in literature. She contributed poems, stories and articles for many magazines and wrote for the newspapers, Saturday Review and Morning Post. In 1855 she successfully wrote and published her first novel but it was in 1864 with the publication of "Barbara's History" which made her literary name. As a perfectionist who sought the truth she reckoned a novel would take her about 2 years to research and write. While her novels gave her financial independence and fame, it was a chance holiday in Egypt which would make her forever most remembered. She was an avid traveller and because of unfavorable weather in Europe, during the winter months of 1873 to 1874, she went with a small party of mostly female friends on a houseboat down the Nile from Cairo to Abu Simbel where they stayed for 6 weeks. The experience inspired Amelia with a profound and lasting love of ancient and modern Egypt and also archaeology. On her return to England she wrote of her experiences in "A Thousands Miles Up The Nile" -- a book which included her own acclaimed illustrations. This appeared in 1876 and became an immediate bestseller. But it was her nagging fears about the despoiling of the Egyptian antiquities and pyramids from tourists and looters which fired her to make a study of ancient Egypt and teach herself hieroglyphics while giving lectures everywhere she could to promote the proper research and preservation of these ancient monuments. With this in mind in 1882 she co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund which became the Egypt Exploration Society. It was at this time she admired and promoted the unknown but brilliant young archaeologist, Flinders Petrie. During the winter months of 1889 to 1890 she undertook an exhausting 120 lectures while touring the eastern and mid-western states of the United States to awaken and further promote the urgent need for trained research and care for Egyptology. Everywhere she lectured she was considered an outstanding speaker of authority. On her return in 1890 she had an operation for malignant cancer of the breast and it was probably the weakening affect of this that when she caught flu she had an important codicil put into her Will in March 1892. Shortly afterwards she died while recuperating at the nearby seaside resort of Weston-Super-Mare from her home "The Larches", Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, where she had resided since 1864. Her close friends, Kate Bradbury and Flinders Petrie were responsible for her most unusal grave which is an obelisk with at its base a giant stone ankh sign close to the wall of Saint Mary's Church at Henbury, Bristol. Amelia never married. She had been a great pioneer and benefactor for Egyptology and also women's rights.
Note: Sooty and metallic inscription rather obscured.
St Mary the Virgin Churchyard
Bristol Unitary Authority
Plot: By East Wall Of Church
Maintained by: MPM77
Originally Created by: Timothy Purnell
Record added: Nov 20, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61903711