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Lady Anne Blunt in the Middle East: Travel, Politics and the Idea of Empire

Lady Anne Blunt in the Middle East: Travel, Politics and the Idea of Empire
Lisa Lacy

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Lady Anne Blunt was a woman ahead of her time. After marrying the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt in 1869, the pair travelled extensively in the Middle East, developing an especial fondness for the region and its people. In this book, Lisa Lacy explores the life, travels and political ideas of Lady Anne. With a broad knowledge of the Arab world, she challenged prevailing assumptions and, as a result of her aristocratic heritage, exerted strong influence in British political circles. Her extensive journeys in the Mediterranean region, North Africa, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Persia formed the basis of her knowledge about the Middle East. She pursued an intimate knowledge of Bedouin life in Arabia, the town culture of Syria and Mesopotamia and the politics of nationalism in Egypt. Her husband, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, gained a reputation as an anti-imperialist political activist. Lacy shows that Lady Anne was her husband's partner in marriage, politics and travel and exerted strong influence not only on his ideas, but on the ideas of the British political elite of the era.

Author Info

Lisa McCracken Lacy is a lecturer in the British Empire and Middle East History at Texas Tech University and has served as a visiting professor in Middle East History at Baylor University. Lacy holds a BA and MA from Baylor University, Waco, Texas, and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a Churchill Scholar, member of the Junior Fellows and of the British Studies seminar. She is an internationally recognized Arabian horse judge and has written the Arabian horse entry in the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa and co-written the Standard of Excellence, breed standard for the Egyptian Arabian horse.


“Lacy provides an engaging portrait of Lady Anne Blunt, a late Victorian traveller and political activist. In addition to being an informative and entertaining biography of a fascinating person, this study provides significant insights into the development of British imperial policies and emerging nationalist politics in the Middle East.  The accounts of the wide-ranging activities of Lady Anne Blunt as an artist and a horse breeder add interesting dimensions to the story.” - John Voll, Georgetown University

“Lady Anne Blunt in the Middle East provides a unique look at the world shared by my great-great grandfather, Ali Pasha Chérif [Sherif] and Lady Anne Blunt. It is a fascinating look at the relationship between the politics of Egyptian self-determination and culture connected through horses and politics. This work not only sheds new light on the complex political and cultural relationships between Egyptian, Turkish, Ottoman and British societies of late nineteenth-century Egypt, but it also highlights the emerging internal British debate over colonialism as well. It is a must-read for those seeking a more nuanced understanding of nineteenth-century Egypt.” - Gulsun Ahmed Sherif, co-founder of the Egyptian Arabian Horse Foundation and co-author of The Abbas Pasha Manuscript and Horses and Horsemen of Arabia and Egypt During the Time of Abbas Pasha, 1800–1860

“Lacy’s book is beautifully written and skillfully introduces the reader to a fresh and nuanced critique of colonialism in the Middle East through the travels of Lady Anne Blunt. It brings to life the legacy of an exceptional British woman who lived through many worlds in the age of European imperialism and navigated a web of connections between men and women in the East and West, imperialists and anti-colonialism. It is an overdue work that I recommend to both academic and general readers interested in the histories of women, Khedival Egypt, and the British colonialism in the Middle East.” - Hanan Hammad, Director of TCU Middle East Studies and author of Industrial Sexuality: Gender, Urbanization, and Social Transformation in Egypt (2016)

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: International Library of Historical Studies

ISBN: 9781784531379
Publication Date: 14 Dec 2017
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 234
Width: 156

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