The Fringes of History

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The Life and Times of Edward Stuart Wortley

Robert Franklin
184 Pages | b&w illustrations

234x156mm, Hardback

EDWARD JAMES MONTAGU STUART WORTLEY was always known as Eddy; and that name conjured up for his generation the figure that ‘Spy’ made of him in his cartoon in Vanity Fair , on 26 th October, 1899: tall, slim, handsome and debonair; a ‘darling of the gods’. Later generations have sensed that his life was a disappointment to him in some respects: privately, there was the death of his only son; all too publicly, there was the collapse of his career.
In retrospect, his career is most interesting for his activities on the fringes of history: the small but significant parts that he played in the Gordon Relief Expedition, the Battle of Omdurman and the Entente Cordiale; his attempt to improve Anglo-German relations, through his acquaintance with the Kaiser; and the events of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Of these, however, only Omdurman and the Entente Cordiale can have given him much satisfaction.
Eddy was born to privilege. He was descended from John Stuart, 3 rd Earl of Bute, and Mary, Countess of Bute. The Earl, himself descended, though illegitimately, from Scottish kings, was George III’s favourite for some time and briefly his Prime Minister. The Countess was the daughter of the extraordinary Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, whose husband, Edward Wortley Montagu, comes into the story not only as the Countess’s father but also as a rich man with estates in Yorkshire and Cornwall. Edward Wortley Montagu disapproved of his only son and disinherited him; his property passed first to Lady Mary and then to the Countess. This property included Wharncliffe Chase, with Wharncliffe Lodge and Wortley Hall, on Yorkshire’s border with Derbyshire, near Sheffield.

Additional information

Dimensions 240 x 160 x 12 cm


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