By Julie Hankey
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Extra resources for A Passion for Egypt: Arthur Weigall, Tutankhamun and the 'Curse of the Pharaohs'
But perhaps Egyptology sounded new-fangled then. University still meant Latin and Greek, Oxford and Cambridge. Mimi had always been conservative on educational matters, and no doubt she wished her son to follow in his father’s and uncles’ footsteps, all Oxford men. Thus the ludicrous situation arose in which Weigall was being officially crammed for the entrance exams in Latin and Greek, while unofficially he was trying to teach himself oriental languages, Persian and Chinese among them. Quite why he thought he ought to know Chinese is not clear.
M. L. D. Hon. A. Scot. himself!! I bolted! Sincerely yours Arthur E. Weigall. 18 In a way, although it was harmless enough, it was an oddly reckless thing for Weigall to do when his career was still so tenuous, and he needed every friend he could get. But he was never circumspect, not even in his own interests, and a joke or an adventure was always irresistible to him. By the end of that season he had in fact got himself another friend and another position. Friedrich Wilhelm von Bissing was a German Egyptologist who had been working for Gaston Maspero on the catalogue of the Cairo Museum since 1897.
He wanted to explain that the causes for his decision to abandon accountancy were desperate rather than 21 A PASSION FOR EGYPT rational, and that he hadn’t done it solely because of Egypt. 3 Egypt had taken his mind off the City, and now it would distract him from his love. But he was beginning to want something more practical than dreams. ’ The boy was clearly not to be fobbed off with a few tracings. In fact he fairly staggered Newberry at this time by telling him about an article he was writing to protest against the mislabelling of the antiquities in the Egyptian galleries of the British Museum.
A Passion for Egypt: Arthur Weigall, Tutankhamun and the 'Curse of the Pharaohs' by Julie Hankey