The Sitwells and the Arts of the 1920s and 1930s (Literary Modernism Series)

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9780292777118: The Sitwells and the Arts of the 1920s and 1930s (Literary Modernism Series)
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Poets, patrons of the arts, and ardent self-publicists, the three Sitwell siblings, Edith, Osbert, and Sacheverell, rarely missed an opportunity to promote themselves or denounce their sworn enemy, the Philistine. This book celebrates their lives and their artistic crusade, which brought them into contact and conflict with many of the leading figures of the arts in the early part of this century. Gertrude Stein, T. S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, and Evelyn Waugh were among their friends; their favorite enemies included Wyndham Lewis, Noel Coward, and D. H. Lawrence. Throughout their lives, the Sitwells were painted and photographed by many famous artists and photographers, including John Singer Sargent, Wyndham Lewis, Rex Whistler, Bill Brandt, and Cecil Beaton. This richly illustrated book provides a unique iconography of the Sitwells and encapsulates fifty years of British cultural history.

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Edith, Osbert, and Sacheverell Sitwell were English eccentrics of the 1920s and 1930s with wildly bohemian lifestyles, archly aristocratic mannerisms, and highly inflated artistic pretensions. Edith's poetry was the best known, but most of their works are now out of print. Their most outstanding creations, however, were themselves. Fashionably outrageous dress was one of their affectations, and image became a major preoccupation. Appropriately then, their lives are recorded here in a pictorial biography. In addition to the languidly posed Sitwells, there are photos of friends such as Evelyn Waugh and Cecil Beaton. The accompanying text is enlivened by accounts of their many petty feuds with those who failed to take them seriously, including Aldous Huxley and D. H. Lawrence.

Review:

The appearance of this volume in paper assures that new audiences will absorb this blend of biographical examination and art history. The Sitwells were poets and patrons of the arts: this examines their lives, artistic crusade, and contact with influential art leaders. -- Midwest Book Review

Their eccentric appearance, outrageous opinions and prominence in fashionable bohemian circles made them the Andy Warhols of their day. -- The New York Times Book Review, Evelyn Toynton

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