Friday, 7 May 2010

A talent for humanity

We are looking forward to the publication of Ros Black's forthcoming book about Lady Henry Somerset.

Born Lady Isabel Somers in 1851, her family owned Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, parts of London as well as much of Reigate. On her marriage at the tender age of 22 she became the daughter-in-law of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort at Badminton House.

If you are not already familiar with what happened next, the story will be really inspiring, as well as an eye-opening, shocking moral and social education.

Meanwhile I would just like to share an artistic treasure that is savoured at Badminton. It's a dainty, bright and homely view of that dear old house, Reigate Priory from a refreshingly different angle - just as if it were the lid of an old fashioned chocolate box. The herbaceous planting of that time was very informal and relaxed, compared with the current mathematical corporate style of the Sunken Garden by the south door. What delights are inside? Would you believe, this little picture is tucked behind one of the main artworks in the Beauforts' sitting room.

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