Wilfrid Scawen Blunt


1840 – 1922


Who was Wilfrid Scawen Blunt?

Wilfrid Scawen Blunt was an English poet and writer. He was born at Petworth House in Sussex, and served in the Diplomatic Service from 1858 to 1869. He was raised in the faith of his mother, a Catholic convert, and educated at Twyford School, Stonyhurst, and at St Mary's College, Oscott. He was best known for his poetry, which was published in a collected edition in 1914, but also wrote a number of political essays and polemics. Blunt is also known for his relatively enlightened views on imperialism:

'His most memorable line of poetry on the subject comes from Satan Absolved, where a cynical devil explains to the Almighty that, ‘The white man's burden, Lord, is the burden of his cash’. Blunt thus stands Rudyard Kipling's familiar concept on its head, arguing that the imperialists' burden is not their moral responsibility for the colonized peoples, but their urge to make money out of them.' - Elizabeth Longford, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.


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Aug 17, 1840
Petworth House
  • England
  • Stonyhurst College
  • Twyford School
Sep 10, 1922
United Kingdom

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