Twin sisters Agnes and Margaret Smith were born on 11th January 1843. Their father, John Smith, was a lawyer and their mother, Margaret, died unfortunately two weeks after they were born.
The girls had a gift for languages and had mastered French, German, Spanish and Italian at a young age. They attended Irvine Royal Academy and were also tutored by their father on subjects like Greek, Latin and Navigation, which were usually only taught to boys.
They settled in Cambridge and both married to become Agnes Smith Lewis and Margaret Dunlop Gibson but were soon widowed. Working out of Cambridge they travelled throughout Europe and the Middle-East learning new languages. They discovered many ancient manuscripts in monasteries in the East and catalogued collections, and were awarded several honorary doctorates by European universities.
Their upbringing in Irvine had fostered their independent and determined natures, leading them to make discoveries that shook the world of Victorian religion to its core by proving that the Christian Bible was the product of many translations and revisions. The book 'The Sisters of Sinai', by Janet Soskice, is a well-researched, page-turning adventure story for those who wish to find out more.
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