Lady Anne Blunt: A Biography by H V F Winstone - review by Jessica Mann

Jessica Mann

Lady of Arabia

Lady Anne Blunt: A Biography


Barzan Publishing 381pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

ANYONE WHO WONDERS what feminism is for (as a surprising number of people do) should read this book. It is about a woman whose remarkable achievements were so overshadowed by those of her husband that her name does not appear at all in the biographical dictionaries on my shelves, while several biographies have been written about his life, most recently by Elizabeth Longford. Wilfrid Scawen Blunt was a poet and the author of books and pamphlets about politics; he was even imprisoned in 1888 for his activities in the Irish Land League. But although he is often credited with saving the thoroughbred Arabian horse from extinction, that feat should be attributed to the hard work and money of his wife.

Lady Anne Blunt was born into a family all of whose members seemed to have an unusual knack of making themselves odious. Her grandfather was the poet Lord Byron and her mother was Ada, the mathematical Countess of Lovelace whose ideas contributed to Babbage's invention of the calculating machine. Then

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