THE EXILED COLLECTOR
‘Fascinating . . . the portrait of an obsession . . . Sebba illuminates this bizarre but brilliant project by bringing Bankes out of the footnotes to which history consigned him, and back to life.’ Financial Times
‘part biography, part tear-jerker, part lesson in art and architectural history . . . it focuses on the wonderful detail in Bankes’s life.’ Independent on Sunday
In August 1841 William Bankes, former Tory MP, pioneer Egyptologist and renowned traveller, was caught in compromising circumstances with a guardsman in London’s Green Park. Faced with the death penalty, he fled to Venice, leaving for ever his beloved house, Kingston Lacy in Dorset. His only enduring passion in exile was designing, commissioning and collecting for the house he loved, but was able to visit only in secret at the end of his life. William Bankes’s personal tragedy has been posterity’s gain, for Kingston Lacy is now regarded as one of England’s most remarkable country houses.
320 pages, 8 pages colour plates