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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific tale, well told, 15 July 2004
By 
Mr. R. Jones "Robert Jones" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Exiled Collector: William Bankes and the Making of an English Country House (Hardcover)
If anything, the title of Anne Sebba's new book is a little misleading.The
Exiled Collector: William Bankes and the Making of an English Country House
only suggests part of a much richer and more facsinating life. The exile in
question happened in 1841 after Bankes was caught in compromising
circumstances with a guardsman in London's Green Park. Bankes fled to
Europe fearing for his life and spent the next fourteen years
based in Venice buying works of arts and architectural embellishments for
his family seat, Kingston Lacy in Dorset, running the house by
remote control. The house still exists and is under the care of the
National Trust. But as Anne Sebba reveals in this entertaining and readable
biography, there were many sides to William Bankes: he was a friend and
contemporary of Lord Byron; a friend of the Duke of Wellington; an
explorer, a traveller and an egyptologist. He was a self-taught connoisseur,
travelling through war-torn Spain cannily buying paintings by Spanish
artists. He was also a lover of men. Anne Sebba's portrait of Bankes is
vivid and immediate, and mercifully unencumbered by the dead hand of dry
scholarship. Good books should always whet the appetite, and leave you a
little hungry for more. My appetite has certainly been whetted. A terrific
tale, well told.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and excellently told, 18 Oct 2013
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Quite extraordinary family history providing a vivid context to the enigma of Kingston Lacey. A party house and art galley, not really for living....
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The Exiled Collector: William Bankes and the Making of an English Country House
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