JOHN GARDNER WILKINSON autograph letter Signed.
Archaeologist and traveller. The "Father of British Egyptology".
ALS. 3pp. Maple Durham, Reading. May 7th . No addressee.
"Pray accept my best thanks for your kindness in sending me the distances and for the trouble you have taken about them. I wish my health would allow me to get the paper ready which I mentioned to you - but as there are many diagrams to be put in which I can only make by looking out all my papers when stationary in Town. I fear it will be some time before I am strong enough to hunt for them. I am now ordered to the Isle of Wight and if I do not recover there I shall be obliged to go abroad for change of climate. If I should be sufficiently well it would give me great pleasure to present it myself to the Institute."
8vo. Approx 7 x 4.5 inches. Docketed with the date and year on blank verso of the last leaf. Fine.
John Gardner Wilkinson was an early traveller in Egypt and spent 12 continuous years there from 1821. He was a pioneer Egyptologist who made a comprehensive record of antiquities and sites from 1821 to 1856. His work was an invaluable resource as many of the sites he visited were later lost or damaged. His best known work is probably 'Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians' 3 vols (1837). John Gardner Wilkinson also travelled extensively in other regions, including the Balkans. He suffered from ill health for much of his life and his final years were spent in England, where he devoted his time to the study of Cornish antiquities and zoology. He gave various presentations of his papers, both to the Royal Society and to the Royal Geographical Society and the 'Institute' referred to in his letter is possibly one of these.