Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/188

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176

been spending the winter on account of his health.

Dr. Edersheim was gentle and amiable in disposition, bright and humorous in conversation, genial in manner, a ready and fluent writer, and effective preacher; possessed of a poetical imagination, which was apt to give a rhetorical redundance to his style; in literary and theological questions conservative, but tolerant.

Besides the works mentioned above, Edersheim published:

  1. ‘Bible History’ (of the Old Testament), 1876–87, 7 vols.
  2. ‘Jewish Social Life in the Time of Christ,’ 1876.

Two elaborate articles on ‘Josephus’ (1882) and ‘Philo’ (1887) in Smith and Wace's ‘Dictionary of Christian Biography;’ stories, hymns, and minor religious writings; numerous articles in the ‘Bible Educator,’ the ‘Edinburgh Review,’ and other periodicals.

[Tohu-va-Vohu ('without form and void'): a Collection of Fragmentary Thoughts and Criticisms by Alfred Edersheim, edited (with a memoir and portrait) by Ella Edersheim, 1890; Guardian, 27 March 1889, p. 474.]

S. R. D.

EDINBURGH, Duke of. [See Alfred Ernest Albert, 1844–1900.]


EDWARDS, AMELIA ANN BLANFORD (1831–1892), novelist, journalist, and egyptologist, was born in London on 7 June 1831. Her father was an officer who had served under Wellington through the peninsular war. Retiring from the army through ill-health, he ultimately accepted a post in the London and Westminster Bank, and lived in Pentonville. He was descended from an old stock of East-Anglian farmers, settled at Gosbeck in Suffolk (Miss Matilda Betham-Edwards—with whom Amelia was often confused—is the daughter of his brother). Her mother was the daughter of Robert Walpole, an Irish barrister, connected with the Norfolk family of that name. Both parents died within a week of each other in 1860.

Miss Edwards was educated at home, chiefly by her mother. As a child her strongest bent was towards art. From the time she could hold a pencil she was always drawing illustrations of books and passing events. In writing she was no less precocious. One of her earliest recollections was of composing a story in capital letters, before she had properly learnt to write. A poem, called 'The Knights of Old,' which she wrote at the age of seven, was sent by her mother to a penny weekly and duly printed. 'The Story of a Clock,' written at the age of twelve, was republished in the 'New England Magazine' for January 1893. Another early taste was for music, which for some years quite superseded books. When about fifteen she apprenticed herself for seven years to Mrs. Mounsey Bartholomew, from whom she learnt not only singing, the pianoforte, and the organ, but also harmony and counterpoint. Yet another passion was for amateur acting; and she always remained fond of the play, though she ceased to care for music.

Straitened means compelled her to look about for a means of livelihood, which— such was her versatility—she might have achieved by her pen, her pencil, or her voice. Accident decided her in favour of literature. She sent a story to 'Chambers's Journal' and received a cheque in return. Forthwith she forsook the drudgery of music, and the rest of her life was one prolonged round of literary toil. At this time she did a good deal of work for 'Household Words' and 'All the Year Round,' usually providing the ghost story for Dickens's Christmas numbers. She also served on the staff of the 'Saturday Review' and the 'Morning Post,' contributing occasional leading articles, as well as musical, dramatic, and art criticism. The total of her novels is only eight, each of which she used to say took her two years' work. The first, 'My Brother's Wife,' was published in 1855. Then followed 'The Ladder of Life' in 1857 and 'Hand and Glove' in 1859. Her earliest success was with 'Barbara's History' (1864), which passed through three editions, besides reproductions by Harper (in America) and Tauchnitz (in Germany), as well as translations into German, Italian, and French. Upon 'Debenham's Vow'(1870), which contains a description of blockade-running in Charleston harbour, she bestowed infinite pains to be accurate in local detail. So again with her last and most popular novel, 'Lord Brackenbury' (1880), she made a special journey to Cheshire to study from life the scene of the story. The ruined manor house and the new one in the Italian style are both the property of Mr. Balman; Langtry Grange is a glorious old place called 'Old Morton.' This tale originally came out in the 'Graphic,' with illustrations by Mr. Luke Fildes, some of which were based upon the author's sketches in water-colour. It passed through no less than fifteen editions; but by this time Miss Edwards had become so absorbed in egyptology that she never followed it up with another novel.

Among her miscellaneous writings may be mentioned: 'A Summary of English