Art, Animals and Politics: Knowsley and the Earls of Derby
- Hardback (BB)
- 11 Dec 2015
- Unicorn Press
Since they were created Earls of Derby in 1485, the Stanleys - a great Lancastrian family, whose seat, Knowsley Hall, is near Liverpool - have been significant in the life of the nation as patrons and collectors, sportsmen and politicians.These absorbing essays by a distinguished cast of contributors- led by historian David Starkey, on Lady Margaret Beaufort,the first Countess of Derby, and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, on Edward Lear's stay at Knowsley - cover key facets of the family's diverse achievements. The 4th, 5thand 6th Earls were patrons of the Elizabethan theatre; the10th Earl formed an outstanding collection of old master paintings; the 12th Earl founded two classic horse races and married the celebrated actress Elizabeth Farren; the 13th Earl established the largest aviary and menagerie in the country and collected natural history books and watercolours; the14th Earl, leader of the Conservative Party, served three times as Prime Minister; the 15th Earl was Foreign Secretary under Disraeli and Colonial Secretary under Gladstone,while his wife, Mary Derby, became a powerful political influence behind the scenes. Illustrated with works from the Derby Collection, and elsewhere.
Stephen Lloyd is Curator of the Derby Collection at Knowsley Hall, with responsibility for the art collections, the celebrated natural history library and the family archive. In2013, he organised a major conference at Knowsley, bringing together historians, art historians and natural historians to celebrate the wide-ranging achievements of the Stanley family and to raise the research profile of their legacy.