Partner Ellen Drew Braysher, buried together

Queer Places:
7 Cambridge Park, Bristol BS6 6XN, Regno Unito
19 Wharton St, Clerkenwell, London WC1X 9PT, Regno Unito
22 Eastfield Rd, Bristol BS9 4AD, Regno Unito
St Mary the Virgin, Close House, Church Cl, Avon, Bristol BS10 7QF, Regno Unito

Image result for Amelia EdwardsAmelia Ann Blanford Edwards (7 June 1831 – 15 April 1892), also known as Amelia B. Edwards,[1] was an English novelist, journalist, traveller and Egyptologist. Her most successful literary works included the ghost story "The Phantom Coach" (1864), the novels Barbara's History (1864) and Lord Brackenbury (1880), and the Egyptian travelogue A Thousand Miles up the Nile (1877), which described her 1873–1874 voyage. In 1882, she co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund (now the Egypt Exploration Society) and became its

She also edited a poetry anthology titled A Poetry-book of modern poets, published in 1878.

Whilst living in London Amelia Edwards lived at 19 Wharton Street, Islington, London.

Born in London to an Irish mother and a father who had been a British Army officer before becoming a banker, Edwards was educated at home by her mother and showed considerable promise as a writer at a young age. She published her first poem at age seven, her first story at age 12. Edwards thereafter proceeded to publish a variety of poetry, stories, and articles in a large number of magazines including Chamber's Journal, Household Words, and All the Year Round. She also wrote for the Saturday Review and the Morning Post.[2][3] On top of being a accomplished writer, Edwards was an artist. She would accompany some of her writings with pictures she had painted. Edwards would also read books and paint scenes from those books.[4] She was talented enough to catch the eye of one, George Cruikshank. He went as far to offer to teach her but, this talent would not be supported by her parents because it was seen as a lesser profession. [5]

Apart from writing and painting, Edwards took up composing and performing music for several years. In 1849, she came down with Typhus, because of this she became plagued with sore throats. These sore throats made it difficult for Edwards to continue to perform, causing her to lose interest in music. Although Edwards had a notable singing voice and was a perspective opera singer, she came to regret her time spent as a singer.[4]

7 Cambridge Park, Bristol

In the beginning of the 1850's Edwards began to focus her attention on being a writer.[6] Her first full-length novel was My Brother's Wife (1855). Her early novels were well received, but it was Barbara's History (1864), a novel of bigamy, that solidly established her reputation as a novelist. She spent considerable time and effort on her books' settings and backgrounds, estimating that it took her about two years to complete the researching and writing of each. This painstaking work paid off when her last novel, Lord Brackenbury (1880), emerged as a runaway success that went to 15 editions. Edwards wrote several ghost stories, including the often anthologised "The Phantom Coach" (1864).[7][8]

Edwards had first heard about the Dolomites in 1853 through sketches that had been brought back to England and on June 27, 1872 Edwards embarked on a trip through the mountains with her friend Lucy Renshawe.[9][10][11] That day they left Monte Generoso for Venice, one of the three known ways to enter the Dolomites, but not before they discarded of Renshawe's maid and courtier who were not approving of such a journey.[11] Instead the two women hired mountain guides from the region as they wouldn't hinder them from taking their chosen paths.[9] On July 1, 1872, after a three day stay in Venice, Edwards and Renshawe left for Longarone, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Pieve di Cadore, Auronzo di Cadore, Val Buona, Caprile, Agordo, Primiero, Predazzo, Fassa Valley, Passo Fedaia, Sasso Bianco, Forno di Zoldo, Zoppè di Cadore, Caprile, and finally ending their journey in Bolzano.[11] At the time of Edwards visit the Dolomites were described as being terra incognita and even most educated persons had never heard of the Dolomites.[9] This journey was written about in her book A Midsummer Ramble in the Dolomites (1873), later changing the name to Untrodden Peaks and Infrequent Valleys (1873).[10] During this expedition Edwards also searched for the works of Titian, of which she found Madonna and Child in Serravalle (Vittorio Veneto) and two other paintings at a village church in Cadore.[12] After her descent from the mountains Edwards described civilized life as the "dead-level World of Commonplace".[9]

In the summer of 1873, being dissatisfied by the end of her journey Edwards and Renshawe then took to a walking tour of France.[9] The journey was stopped short though due to the extensive rain, which is one of the reasons they decided to look towards Egypt.[4]

In the winter of 1873–1874, accompanied by several friends, Edwards toured Egypt, discovering a fascination with the land and its cultures, both ancient and modern. Journeying southwards from Cairo in a hired dahabiyeh (manned houseboat), the companions visited Philae and ultimately reached Abu Simbel, where they remained for six weeks. During this last period, a member of Edwards' party, the English painter Andrew McCallum, discovered a previously unknown sanctuary that came to bear Edwards' name for some time afterwards.[13]

Edwards wrote a vivid description of her Nile voyage, titled A Thousand Miles up the Nile (1877).[14][15] Enhanced with her own hand-drawn illustrations, the travelogue became an immediate best-seller.

Edwards' travels in Egypt had made her aware of the increasing threats directed towards the ancient monuments by tourism and modern development. Determined to stem these threats by the force of public awareness and scientific endeavour, Edwards became a tireless public advocate for the research and preservation of the ancient monuments. In 1882, she co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund (now the Egypt Exploration Society) with Reginald Stuart Poole, the curator of the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum. Edwards became joint Honorary Secretary of the Fund and served until her death.

With the aim of advancing the Fund's work, Edwards largely abandoned her other literary work to concentrate on Egyptology. In this field, she contributed to the ninth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica,[16] to the American supplement of that work, and to the Standard Dictionary. As part of her efforts Edwards embarked on an ambitious lecture tour of the United States in the period 1889–1890. The content of these lectures was later published as Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers.[17]

St Mary the Virgin, Close House, Church Cl, Avon, Bristol

After catching influenza Edwards died on 15 April 1892 at Weston-super-Mare. She had lived at Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol since 1864.[18][19] She was buried in the churchyard of St Mary's Church, Henbury, Bristol, and her grave is marked by an obelisk, at whose foot lies a stone ankh. The grave is alongside those of her companion, Ellen Drew Braysher (9 April 1804 – 9 January 1892), with whom she had lived in Westbury-on-Trym, and Ellen's daughter, Sarah Harriet Braysher (1832–1864). In September 2016, Historic England designated the grave as Grade II listed,[20] celebrating it as a landmark in English LGBT history.[21]

Edwards bequeathed her collection of Egyptian antiquities and her library to University College London, together with a sum of £2,500 to found an Edwards Chair of Egyptology.[22]


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/queerplaces/images/Amelia_Edwards#References