Edouard Naville letter to Gruber

Edouard Naville mentions Rosalind Paget.

A Letter from Edouard Naville to Gruber(1). On 29 October (probably in 1895), Edouard Naville wrote a letter, concerning Miss (Rosalind) Paget, joining their team at Deir el-Bahri.(Since Naville wasn’t a native English speaker, there are some mistakes in the letter. The letter has been transcribed “as is”.)

Malagny, October 29th

My dear Gruber,

I am very much astonished to hear that a lady wishes to join us and to settle in our house. I haven’t the slightest objection on the contrary. There is no doubt she will be a very pleasant society. But I am afraid she does not realize how she will have to rough it. She will have to accept many discomforts which frighten even gentlemen.

Our house is as simple as possible. We did not indulge in any luxury; not even windows, our house is not to be compared those which de Morgan(2) built for himself and the museum officials. The beds are hard, and the furniture elementary;

if Miss Paget(3) does not mind all that we shall be delighted to have her as companion. As she draws very well I think her work might be what Mrs Naville [liked?] last year with her.

I hear collecting the scattered fragments, putting them together and making the drawing of the scenes as a whole. It is an interesting work which requires a quick eye and a certain knowledge of hieroglyphs and Egyptian art.

If Miss Paget on her way to Egypt could go through Geneva and stop a day or two in my house, I might show her at once the kind of work she will have to do. I should be very glad to make her acquaintance, and so would Mrs Naville who will not go to Egypt this winter.

I saw Morgan in Paris on Tuesday. He left for Egypt yesterday. He told me he had already instructed his officials to leave me nearly the whole of the place [?] I had; and that he would answer from Egypt the letter of the Committee about Hogarth’s excavations.

I do not know exactly what the Committee asked for; seems very desirous to meet the Committee’s wishes; and as for me be granted at once what I asked for.


If Miss Paget begins with Petrie I daresay our way of living and our food will compare favourably with her first experience of an explorers life.


  1. The letter was probably to Herbert Appold Gruber, an English numismatist and antiquary and one of the founders of the Egypt Exploration Fund.
  2. He probably speaks about Jean-Jacques de Morgan, who was one of the directors of antiquities in Egypt in the 19th century.
  3. Naville speaks of Rosalind Paget, a very talented painter, who worked for the EES.

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