Arthur Weigall

Arthur Weigall books and biography

Arthur Weigall

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Arthur Edward Pearse Brome Weigall (1880–1934) was an English Egyptologist, stage designer, journalist and author whose works span the whole range from histories of Ancient Egypt through historical biographies, guide-books, popular novels, screenplays and lyrics.

Arthur Weigall was born in the year in which his father, an army officer, died on the North West Frontier. As a young widow, his mother turned missionary in the inner-city slums of late-Victorian England. So Arthur Weigall went from an unconventional home life in Salford to Wellington College, a school with strong establishment and military connections. He started work as an apprentice clerk in the City of London, but a youthful fascination with genealogy led him to the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt and so into Egyptology. A mysterious patroness encouraged him to apply for New College, Oxford. This was a mistake (Egyptology was not yet studied at Oxford) so he went on to Leipzig, and on his return to England found work with Flinders Petrie, first at University College London and then at Abydos in Egypt.

Life with Flinders Petrie was notoriously harsh, and after a while Arthur Weigall went to work for Friedrich Wilhelm von Bissing, a German Egyptologist. In early 1905 Howard Carter was staying with Arthur Weigall at Saqqara when after an incident with some French tourists, Howard Carter was forced to resign his post as Chief Inspector of Antiquities for Upper Egypt. Suddenly, at the age of 25, Arthur Weigall was appointed to replace Howard Carter at Luxor, responsible for protecting and managing the antiquities of a region that extended from Nag Hamadi to the border with Sudan.

At Luxor, Arthur Weigall threw himself with immense energy into aspects of the job that in his view had been somewhat neglected – the protection and conservation of monuments that were steadily vanishing into the ravenous markets of Europe and North America. He remained in Luxor until 1911. This was a time of intense activity – the discovery of the tombs of Yuya and Tuya, KV55, the tomb of Horemheb, travels in the

Further reading

  • ISBN 0-09-185047-9 Arthur Weigall, A guide to the antiquities of Egypt
  • ISBN 0-7103-1001-3 Arthur Weigall, The Life and Times of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt
  • ISBN 0-8369-1217-9 Arthur Weigall, Personalities of antiquity
  • ISBN 1-86064-566-6 Julie Hankey, A Passion for Egypt: A Biography of Arthur Weigall
  • ISBN 9989-920-86-9 Arthur Weigall, Alexander The Great

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