Edith Sitwell by Photo Press, 1928.
National Portrait Gallery. Licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0

Edith Sitwell


Edith Sitwell (1887–1964): poet, biographer, anthologist, novelist; editor of Wheels 1916–21. Her collection, The Mother and Other Poems (1915), was followed by Clown’s Houses (1918) and The Wooden Pegasus (1920). In 1923, her performance at the Aeolian Hall in London of her cycle of poems, Façade (1922), with music by William Walton, placed her briefly at the centre of modernistic experimentation. Other writings include Gold Coast Customs (1929), Collected Poems (1930), Fanfare for Elizabeth (1946), The Queens and the Hive (1962), Taken Care Of (memoirs, 1965). Appointed DBE in 1954. See John Lehmann, A Nest of Tigers: Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell in their Times (1968); John Pearson, Façades: Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell (1978); Selected Letters of Edith Sitwell, ed. Richard Greene (2007); Richard Greene, Edith Sitwell: Avant-Garde Poet, English Genius (2011). TSE remarked to Mary Trevelyan on 16 Oct. 1949: ‘Edith and Osbert [Sitwell] are 70% humbug – but kind – and cruel’ (‘The Pope of Russell Square’, 19).