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Stephen Taylor

A new biography of the charismatic Georgian society hostess Lady Anne Barnard, who became defined by her defiance of convention.

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Poet and musician, artist and hostess, Lady Anne Barnard lived at the heart of Georgian society. High-born yet egalitarian, she travelled to France to observe the Revolution, rejected numerous suitors, and lived independently. Her curious ways attracted gossip right into her final years when she raised an illegitimate child at her home in Berkeley Square. Written with full access to her previously unseen private papers and unpublished memoirs, Defiance shows Lady Anne to be one of the unheralded chroniclers and pioneering women of her time.

Critic Reviews

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
Critic Reviews

An elegant and vivid book which will surely bring its subject the fame she deserves.

Frances Wilson, TLS
Critic Reviews

An absorbing, eye-opening history that combines equally the personal and the political. The woman herself, you suspect, would have been even more entertaining.

Rosemary Goring, Scottish Review of Books
Critic Reviews

Brilliant insight into the life and times of a remarkably modern woman.

Kirsty McLuckie, Scotsman

Stephen Taylor grew up in South Africa, and after moving to Britain worked as a foreign correspondent for The Times in Africa, Asia and Australia. He is the author of several celebrated books on Africa, including The Mighty Nimrod and Livingstone’s Tribe: A Journey from Zanzibar to the Cape. The Caliban Shore was called ‘a wonderful book’ by Paul Theroux…

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