Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards was born in London and educated at home by her mother. She began to write at a young age, publishing her first poem at 7 and her first story at 12. She went on to publish a variety of poetry, stories and articles in a large number of British magazines and newspapers. She published her first novel, My Brother's Wife, in 1855, but it was Barbara's History (1864), a novel about bigamy, that made her famous. She also wrote ghost stories, including the often-anthologized "The Phantom Coach" (1864). In the winter of 1873–74, accompanied by several friends, Amelia Edwards visited Egypt, where she developed a fascination with the country and its cultures, both ancient and modern. After returning home, she wrote a travelogue with hand-drawn illustrations called A Thousand Miles up the Nile (1877), which became an immediate bestseller. Amelia Edwards now became devoted advocate for research and preservation of the ancient Egyptian monuments and, in 1882, co-founded the Egypt Exploration Fund (now the Egypt Exploration Society) with Reginald Stuart Poole of the British Museum. Following the publication of her hit novel, Lord Brackenbury (1880), she abandoned her other literary work to concentrate solely on Egyptology. Amelia Edwards contributed entries to the 9th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, to the American supplement of that work, and to the Standard Dictionary. She went on a lecture tour of the USA in 1889–90, and these lectures were later published under the title Pharaohs, Fellahs, and Explorers (1891). Amelia Edwards died in 1892 and bequeathed her valuable 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.