Lady Anne Blunt: A Biography
By H.V. Winstone
Born Lady Annabella King, daughter of the first Earl and Countess of Lovelace, she was to become the first western woman to make a recorded journey to central Arabia, the first to enter the citadel of Hail, home of the regicidal ruling House of Ibn Rashid. She also wrote two of the best known books of Arabian travel and exploration, rescued the pure strain of the Arabian horse from near oblivion, and translated into English the pre-Islamic verse of the great Arabian writers.
The Blunts journey of 1878 to the tribal regions of the Euphrates began as an episode in the pursuit of thoroughbred Arab horses. It ended as an epic of desert travel and gave rise to Lady Anne's first book, 'Bedouin Tribes of the Euphrates', edited by her husband Wilfrid and illustrated with Lady Anne's sensitive drawings of the personalities and scenes of tribal life. Within a year they had returned to the region. This time to the Nejd, the Central Arabian Nafud and the black mountains of Jebel Shammar, home of some of the most powerful tribes and citadel of Ibn Rashid. Again Anne sketched and wrote as she confronted the dangers of tribal warfare, suffering injury as she went, but always drawing, often sketching roughly on scraps of paper, to be worked on later. The drawings in her second book, A Pilgrimage to Nejd, convey as never before the harsh realities and subtle tones of landscape, tribal life and nature.
The author, Victor Winstone, has also written an acclaimed biography of Howard Carter, discoverer of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, and more than a dozen books devoted to European personalities in the Middle East. Now 77, he has written extensively on Middle East politics, pottery and the decorative arts in a career that spans half a century of journalism and authorship. Among his best known works are his biographies of Gertrude Bell and Captain Shakespear. His account of political intrigue and secret intelligence in the Middle East, The Illicit Adventure, written in the aftermath of oil nationalization and Suez, has been the subject of world-wide praise in the media and bitter censure in western political circles.
Lady Anne Blunt: A Biography is available from www.barzanpress.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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