Anthony Blunt – Life
Anthony Blunt (once known as Sir Anthony Blunt), was a member of the notorious Soviet spy ring, the “Cambridge Five.” Born 26 September, 1907, Anthony Blunt was the third cousin of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and regularly rook tea at her estate.
Anthony Blunt was a brilliant art historian, a profession that eventually earned him knighthood and the distinction of being Surveyor of the King’s (later Queen’s) Pictures. He was a professor of Art History at the University of London, and wrote prolifically on the subject of Art History.
Anthony Blunt never married, though he and his partner John Gaskin stayed together most of Blunt’s life. Anthony Blunt died of a heart-attack 26 March, 1983.
Anthony Blunt – The Spy
Anthony Blunt, a known communist sympathizer, was eventually recruited to be a spy for the Soviets. It is unclear as to whether it was Blunt who recruited fellow “Cambridge Five” member Guy Burgess, or the other way around. Blunt claims Burgess recruited him, but after the revelation of Blunt’s treason doubt shadows all his claims.
Blunt was a Marxist at heart, but a dedicated opponent of fascism. MI5 believed Blunt would make an excellent agent during World War II, despite his communist sympathies, because of his hatred of fascism. From his position of power within MI5, Blunt siphoned secrets to the Soviets for years.
In 1964, Blunt was privately accused of treason, and his involvement with the spy ring as the long-sought “Fourth Man.” Blunt admitted his guilt, and was promised freedom from exposure and prosecution.
The promise, however, did not last. Some MI5 agents, feeling that the traitor had gotten away with his crime, eventually forced the secrets out. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher publicly denounced Anthony Blunt as a spy in 1979.
Ashamed, Anthony Blunt renounced his knighthood and resigned from his positions. His memoirs were released in 2009, but revealed little about his espionage activities.
Anthony Blunt’s life, along with the others of the “Cambridge Five,” was dramatized in the BBC miniseries The Cambridge Spies.
Anthony Blunt at Cambridge
Anthony Blunt came to Trinity College, University of Cambridge to study mathematics, but eventually altered his course to Modern Languages. He earned his first class degree in 1930, and then went on to teach French at the University. He became a Fellow of Trinity College in 1932.
Anthony Blunt met his co-conspirators at Cambridge, including Kim Philby. Intelligence officials speculate he stayed at Cambridge as a talent-spotter, and recruitment agent for the Soviets.
Cambridge.com is not affiliated with the University of Cambridge.