Famous quote: Lady Wentworth on Arabian horses’ ears

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on August 12th, 2009 in General

Also from “The Authentic Arab Horse”, but from Lady Wentworth, this time..

“Ears: these are all-important. A stallion’s ears should be small, exquisitely shaped, sharply cut, and thin at the edges. They should be also of marvelously delicate modeling, beautifully chiseled, the tip delicately turned inwards, the points being very sharply defined. Hearing is very acute and sensitive, lop ears are unknown and slack ears are a very bad fault. A good head can be discounted by badly carried ears.”

10 Responses to “Famous quote: Lady Wentworth on Arabian horses’ ears

  1. Edouard, this paragraph appears in chapter 14, on page 222 of the 3rd edition. It is not clear to me who authored which parts of chapter 14. Some sections are clearly attributed to Wilfrid Blunt (p. 230, p. 234); others make reference to events after the Blunts were both dead. Chapter 13 ends with, “Lady Anne Blunt has given the Nomad view. I have given the opinion of the western world.”

  2. True. It is hard to say who wrote what in this chapter, as far as I could recall. The syntax of the sentences and the use of epiteths like “exquisitely” and “marvelously” looks like Judith stuff to me. LAB had a more reserved, less flamboyant style, I think, and I find it less likely that she could have written such a sentence. No?

  3. I agree, Edouard. Lady Anne’s language was more restrained and less Public Relations oriented.

    Just by using that one thing as a reference, you can separate out Lady Wentworth’s material with a fair degree of accuracy, IMO, although the only way for sure would be to have Lady Anne’s “Book of Fragments” for reference. Oh! How I have wished for that!!

  4. Jeanne, is there such a book: a BOOK OF FRAGMENTS??? I never heard about it? What is it, like a notebook full of disconnected thoughts, like a journal?

  5. It was Lady Anne’s lifetime work. She was preparing it for the printer when she died in 1917. In her journals, she describes it as she put it together. It would have been fabulous! It later showed up as material in Lady Wentworth’s “The Authentic Arabian Horse,” but greatly edited, and no way of telling how much was original and how much was edited or completely written by Lady W. The original manuscript was never found in the Wentworth papers, _to my knowledge_. This is one of the great tragedies of Arabian horse literature, IMO.

  6. Many of us are still grieving over this loss, almost a 100 years after the facts.

  7. Now there’s a good mystery to solve. I’ll put my money on Judith as the “disappearer” of her mother’s manuscript.

  8. Yes, Lady Wentworth’s (Judith’s) prose was more florid and flamboyant than her mother’s writing (Lady Anne’s). I agree, this reads like Judith, who frequently used evocative adverb-adjective descriptions, as in “marvelously delicate modeling” above, “exceedingly showy horse,” “wonderfully fine horse with gorgeous neck & shoulder & wonderful curve of throat,” and one of my favorites, “vivid iridescent buttercup gold of dazzling brilliancy.” Although Lady Anne was the granddaughter of the poet Lord Byron, Judith’s writing was the more poetic.

  9. Now, the “Book of Fragments”: Rosemary Archer wrote that Lady Anne willed it to her daughter, Judith: “All that Lady Wentworth inherited, and from the point of view of the Arabian horse it was a priceless legacy, was Lady Anne’s manuscript on the Arabian.”

    Rosemary Archer and James Fleming wrote in footnote 123 to Lady Anne’s Journals and Correspondence, “the extensive use that Lady Wentworth made of her mother’s work in The Authentic Arabian Horse, for which the type had been set by 1939, indicates that at least a very large portion of the manuscript had survived until then. It is not known to exist now.”

    Lady Wentworth’s will (1956) says, “I DIRECT that my Trustees [Geoffrey Frederick Covey and Gladstone Eugene Moore] shall delegate to Walter N. Beard and to Miss Christabel Draper the duties of literary executors and for this purpose they shall have access to and deal with all my papers manuscripts and other documents connected with my books published and unpublished and (with the consent of the said Geoffrey Frederick Covey) they shall decide upon the disposal of the Byron papers to the best advantage…. I request that my Trustees shall offer to the Trustees for the time being of the British Museum London or alternatively to any other important Museum or Public Library such of my papers and manuscripts as they may consider of permanent value or shall not desire to retain and wish to put in safe keeping especially the best of my mother Lady Anne Blunt’s sketch books. I leave the ultimate disposal of the aforesaid papers to the discretion of the Trustees….”

    The British Library acquired a great mass of Blunt and Wentworth family papers, known as the Wentworth Bequest, on July 11, 1964. The manuscripts for Lady Wentworth’s published books do not seem to have been included.

  10. Lady Anne Blunt wrote to an unidentified, apparently American, correspondent on March 5, 1916: “If I can finish a small work I have been trying to write for the last half a dozen years, I shall be most gratified if you will accept a copy. It is nearly ready though not yet in print for the war has, alas, put back this which will I think be a record worth preserving of the views of Central Arabian Nomad horse breeders, with whom I have lived in contact for many years. So that the book, such as it is, results from no merit of my own but from the strange good fortune of my knowing enough of horses and enough of Arabic to profit by the opportunities given me. Most of the best scholars in Arabic know nothing of the horse, while our Western lovers of the horse know not the language of the Peninsula.”

    This might have been written to W.R. Brown.

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