Author(s): Anne Sebba
On August 30th 1841 William John 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 exile in Venice, leaving forever his beloved house, Kingston Lacy in Dorset. It was the vicarious embellishment of this house that was to be his only enduring passion.
Brilliantly written and highly readable, The Exiled Collector is the first ever biography of William Bankes, recounting his dramatic life story. It examines the psychology of collecting, the pain and creativity of exile and affords a revealing insight into the minds of a hypocritical ruling elite in early Victorian Britain.