DE­FI­ANCE: THE LIFE AND CHOICES OF LADY ANNE BARNARD

North & South - - Review - JENNY WHEELER

STEPHEN TAY­LOR (ALLEN & UNWIN, $45)

One thing only was ex­pected of the beau­ti­ful daugh­ter of a thread­bare Scot­tish peer: to marry well and fur­ther the fam­ily for­tunes. Lady Anne Barnard – trav­eller, artist, mem­oirist, so­cial sen­sa­tion and con­fi­dante of the Prince of Wales – re­jected Ge­or­gian Lon­don’s rich and pow­er­ful and at 42 mar­ried a broke, in­valided army of­fi­cer 12 years her ju­nior. Serv­ing with him in the newly ac­quired Cape Colony, she en­joyed her hap­pi­est days and left a re­mark­able his­tory. Af­ter his early death, she raised his daugh­ter by an African slave at her Berke­ley Square home. A fas­ci­nat­ing ac­count of a life spent de­fy­ing con­ven­tion. As The Spec­ta­tor noted, “By re­fus­ing to re-marry, Anne had con­trol of her life… she had agency.”

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