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Philanthropist was a force of nature


She donated the very first piece of land to the National Trust but, like those famous 4.5 acres, Fanny Talbot had a wild side to her too.

Notable for her philanthropic activities, and her friendships with distinguished 19th century writers John Ruskin and Blanche Atkinson, Talbot bequeathed the Welsh cliff-top land, called the Cliff of Light, with express instruction that it should be preserved in its wild character.

Her character and achievements are the subject of a new entry written by Brunel's Dr Astrid Swenson in the prestigious Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, available here.

Described by Dr Swenson as a "force of nature", Talbot surrounded herself with like-minded intellectuals and was a unique presence in her own right. A video highlight of her life and times is available on YouTube.