DEFIANCE

The Life and Choices of Lady Anne Barnard

 

November 2016 will see the publication of Defiance – The Life and Choices of Lady Anne Barnard, Stephen’s seventh book and the first with a female subject. 

 

 

“An eccentric life, wonderfully told. Lady Anne Barnard was a brave traveller, artist and observer. Stephen Taylor brings her brilliantly out of the shadows.”

– Stella Tillyard 

Lady Anne Barnard lived at the heart of Georgian society yet was never fully part of it. The Prince of Wales counted among her many friends and she was brilliant in company. But she was seen as a curiosity – an outsider.

What defined this poet and musician, artist and hostess, was defiance of convention. High-born yet an egalitarian, she rejected numerous suitors, lived independently by buying and renting houses and travelled to France to observe the Revolution. When she did marry it was to a junior army officer twelve years younger than she, and together they withdrew to Africa. Her eccentric ways attracted gossip right into her final years when she raised an illegitimate child at her home in Berkeley Square.

Anne Barnard’s verse was celebrated by Sir Walter Scott but she was also a brilliant and indefatigable diarist. Stephen Taylor has been given access to her private papers, notably six volumes of memoirs which have never been published and which show her to have been one of the unheralded chroniclers of her time.

Stephen Taylor

DEFIANCE

The Life and Choices of Lady Anne Barnard 

November 2016 saw the publication of Defiance – The Life and Choices of Lady Anne Barnard, Stephen’s seventh book and the first with a female subject. 

“An eccentric life, wonderfully told. Lady Anne Barnard was a brave traveller, artist and observer. Stephen Taylor brings her brilliantly out of the shadows.”

– Stella Tillyard 

Lady Anne Barnard lived at the heart of Georgian society yet was never fully part of it. The Prince of Wales counted among her many friends and she was brilliant in company. But she was seen as a curiosity – an outsider.

What defined this poet and musician, artist and hostess, was defiance of convention. High-born yet an egalitarian, she rejected numerous suitors, lived independently by buying and renting houses and travelled to France to observe the Revolution. When she did marry it was to a junior army officer twelve years younger than she, and together they withdrew to Africa. Her eccentric ways attracted gossip right into her final years when she raised an illegitimate child at her home in Berkeley Square.

Anne Barnard’s verse was celebrated by Sir Walter Scott but she was also a brilliant and indefatigable diarist. Stephen Taylor has been given access to her private papers, notably six volumes of memoirs which have never been published and which show her to have been one of the unheralded chroniclers of her time.

 

Other reviews

"A shrewd and wonderfully vivid contribution to that extraordinary period. I loved it."
Miranda Seymour

"Scrupulous, affectionate and well-written - the product of an author who unusually combines the virtues of both journalist and scholar ... This book is a curiosity, full of specialised pleasures, with a fascinating twist in its final pages ... The greatest pleasure is Anne Barnard herself, with whom we become familiar through the previously untapped resource of her own words. A broad-minded, witty, unashamedly egalitarian and romantic woman [whose] appetite for life speaks to us across the centuries."
Virginia Nicholson, The Times

"A captivating portrait of a woman of huge courage, talent and warmth, a true life-enhancer who seems as vitally alive on Taylor's pages as she must have been to those who loved her."
Lucy Moore, Literary Review

"[Lady Anne Barnard's] story is a remarkable one ... and Stephen Taylor is the first biographer to reveal her secrets ... he has found a goldmine in these memoirs and his enjoyable book allows Anne to tell her own story. She should be welcomed as a courageous and eccentric newcomer to the 18th-century scene." 
Jane Ridley, Spectator


 

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