5-6.30pm (UK) / 7-8.30pm (Egypt) | This event will not be recorded

In 1873 Amelia Edwards made a journey to Egypt that would change her life and the future of British Egyptology forever. But what of the lady herself? Who was she and what did she believe?

Amelia Edwards was a complicated character in her own time and remains, to a certain degree, an enigma today. Without a thorough autobiographical account, we instead form our impressions of her based-on correspondence and publications. In other words, we see how she presented herself to the public, to her friends, and to her supporters but we are rarely any closer to Amelia herself. This panel discussion seeks to unpack aspects of Amelia’s life: her achievements, her relationships, the controversial opinions she promoted, and the movements she contributed to.

2022 marks many anniversaries including the centenary since the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered. It is also 130 years since the passing of the woman that undoubtedly contributed to the famous discovery more than 30 years after her death, and 140 years since the she founded the organisation that first led Howard Carter to Egypt – the Egypt Exploration Society. On International Women’s Day 2022, we seek to remember Amelia’s life… in all its complications.

Book

Panellists

Heba Abd el Gawad is project researcher for Egypt’s Dispersed Heritage. Over the past two years she has worked extensively with Egyptian audiences to transparently unpack, often using humour, some of the more controversial legacies of British Egyptology.

Anna Garnett is Curator at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology at UCL. Her interests in the development of British Egyptology, as well as Amelia’s own contribution to the establishment of Egyptology at UCL are demonstrated in her co-authored introduction to the 2022 reprint of ‘A Thousand Miles up the Nile’ by Amelia B Edwards.

Margaret Jones is a historian who has researched the life and works of Amelia and will shortly publish a new biography of her through Bloomsbury called ‘The Adventurous Life of Amelia B. Edwards, Egyptologist, Novelist, Activist’ (2022).

Bianca Walther is completing a PhD on a cultural history of (love) relationships between women in the late 19th and early 20th century. Her article about Amelia, ‘Eminent Lesbian or passionate spinster’, delves into Amelia’s personal life and contextualises it in the period she lived.  

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