Victorian Ghost Stories Were Her Specialty: Meet Amelia B. Edwards


Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards (7 June 1831 – 15 April 1892), also known as Amelia B. Edwards, was an English novelist, journalist, traveller and Egyptologist. Her most successful literary works were supernatural stories including the popular 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 up the Nile River. In 1882, Edwards co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund (now the Egypt Exploration Society) and became its joint Honorary Secretary. In 1889–1890, she toured the United States lecturing on Egyptian exploration.

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.

1704px-Bust_of_Amelia_Edwards,_Petrie_Museum,_University_College,_London

Bust of Amelia Edwards, Petrie Museum, University College, London

After catching influenza Edwards died on 15 April 1892 at Weston-super-Mare. She had lived at Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol since 1864. She is buried in St Mary’s Church, Henbury, Bristol, and her grave is marked by an obelisk, at whose foot lies a stone ankh. She 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.

Edward’s ghost stories and other supernatural fiction has finally been collected in single-volume editions now available from ebook retailers as well as other booksellers. Much of her work is also available to read for free in the Public Domain.51929

(Text/Photo Sources: Wikipedia, Amazon.com, Pinterest)

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