Bosse-Griffiths with her husband J. Gwyn Griffiths in 1939
16 June 1910
Wittenberg, German Empire
|Died||4 April 1998
|Literary movement||Cadwgan Circle|
|Spouse||J. Gwyn Griffiths|
Käte Bosse was born in Wittenberg in Germany in 1910, and although her mother was of Jewish parentage, she was brought up as a member of the Lutheran Church. After completing her secondary education in her home town she was accepted into the University of Munich where she gained a doctorate in Classics and Egyptology in 1935. Soon after she started work at the Egyptology and Archaeology Department of the Berlin State Museums. When it was discovered that her mother was a Jew she was dismissed from her post.
Bosse left Germany for Britain and found research work at the Petrie Museum at the University College London and later at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. In 1938, while at Oxford, as a senior member of Somerville College she met fellow Egyptologist J. Gwyn Griffiths. Griffiths, a Welsh and Classics scholar brought up in the Rhondda, was at that time a research student at Oxford, but the two of them returned to the Rhondda and made their home in the village of Pentre. They married in 1939 and Bosse became Käte Bosse-Griffiths. During the Second World War, Bosse-Griffiths and her husband set up the Cadwgan Circle from their home in Pentre, an avant-garde literary and intellectual group whose membership included Pennar Davies and Rhydwen Williams. Among these literary Welsh speakers Bosse-Griffiths found a love of the Welsh language. During the same years in Germany, Bosse-Griffiths's mother died at Ravensbrück, a notorious women's concentration camp. Her brothers Günther and Fritz were both imprisoned, and then served at Zöschen camp. An order to have them killed at the end of the war was not carried out. Her sister Dorothee was imprisoned for six weeks but released.
Academic and literary career
When her husband became a lecturer at Swansea University, the couple moved to Uplands and then Sketty in Swansea. Bosse-Griffiths became a member of Swansea Museum, where she was Keeper of Archaeology, a role she would undertake for 25 years. She helped bring Sir Henry Wellcome's Egyptian collection, at the time held in storage, to the Department of Classics at Swansea, and would spend the next twenty years researching this 5,000 piece collection. This Wellcome collection is now housed at the Egypt Centre at Swansea University.
Bosse-Griffiths was also a published author. She wrote on German pacifist movements in Mudiadau Heddwch yn yr Almaen (1942) in the Welsh language, while academic works include her 1955 collection Amarna Studies and Other Collected Papers.
Bosse-Griffiths' output included scores of articles on archaeological matters. Her literary output includes short stories and novels including Anesmwyth Hoen (1941), Fy Chwaer Efa a Storïau Eraill (1944), Mae'r Galon wrth y Llyw (1957), and Cariadau (1995), and two travel books, Trem ar Rwsia a Berlin (1962), and Tywysennau o'r Aifft (1970).
- Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel; Menna, Baines; Lynch, Peredur I., eds. (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. p. 337. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6.
- Meic Stephens (10 April 1998). "Obituary: Kate Bosse-Griffiths". The Independent. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
- Lloyd, Allan B.; 'Kate Bosse-Griffiths' JSTOR
- Bosse-Griffiths,Kate Teithiau'r Meddwl, Y Lolfa, (2004), pp. 7–19
- http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/information/biography/abcde/griffiths_kate.html Minnesota State University; Kate Bosse-Griffiths
- History of the Egypt Centre History of the Egypt Centre with pictures of Bosse-Griffiths.