1 February 2018

Lunchtime talk: A thousand miles up the Nile – the life and work of Amelia Edwards

Bristol author Amelia Edwards arrived in Egypt in December 1873. She then spent the next four months sailing along the river Nile visiting ancient sites.

This journey changed her life forever.

On her return to England Amelia spent two years researching and writing A Thousand Miles Up the Nile (1877). As a result of her thorough research for the book, and afterwards, she became an expert in Egyptology and could read hieroglyphs.

She criticised the looting of ancient sites to provide souvenirs for tourists, realising that this destruction was due to the lack of any controls on excavation and tourism. Determined to do something about it, Amelia and Reginald Poole of the British Museum co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund (EEF) in 1882.

Amelia dedicated the rest of her life to promoting the EEF and raising valuable funds for its work in Egypt. She also wrote several learned articles in the press and travelled widely giving lectures about ancient Egypt. One of these lectures The Social and Political Position of Women in Ancient Egypt explained how British women at the time had fewer legal and social rights than ancient Egyptian women. Her support for the rights of women led to her being made a Vice-President of the Women’s Suffrage League in Bristol.

Come and discover more about this extraordinary woman and her enduring legacy.

Designed to fit around your lunch hour, our lunchtime talks explore a selection of treasures from our exhibitions and collections.