Lady Anne Blunt (1837 – 1917); Horse Sense

Née Lady Ann Isabella Noel-King.

Her grandfather was Lord Byron, her father the Earl of Lovelace, her mother Ada Lovelace, who is credited (not quite accurately) as the first computer programmer for Babbage’s calculating machine.  With that kind of pedigree, anything was possible.

She grew up on her father’s considerable estate at East Horsley Park,  home-schooled in languages, mathematics, and violin.  She learned drawing from John Ruskin.  As befits a proper country blueblood,  she found her  real passion from  a young age was horses (indeed, it was said that she could jump a mount well into her seventies).    This meshed nicely with her husband’s passion for the Middle East.  It was about the only thing on which they could make a real partnership. Continue reading

Sardanapalus, (? – 612 BC?)

The Death of Sardanopalus by Delacroix appears in Eloise in Paris which is where I first saw it back when I was in single digits.  Fascinating stuff to a nine year old.  Who on earth were these people and what in heaven’s name was going on here?  The fellow in back looked annoyed but passive, the woman stoic and resigned- why?  That other woman draped over the bed, was she alive or just unconscious? And what on earth was that horse doing there in the bedroom? What was the matter with these people? Continue reading