Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell

(7 September 1887 - 9 December 1964 / Scarborough, Yorkshire)

Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell
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Edith Sitwell was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, the only daughter of the eccentric Sir George Sitwell, 4th Baronet, of Renishaw Hall; he was an expert on genealogy and landscaping. Her mother was the former Lady Ida Emily Augusta Denison, a daughter of the Earl of Londesborough and a granddaughter of Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort. She claimed a descent through female lines from the Plantagenets.

Childhood

Sitwell had two younger brothers, Osbert (1892-1969) and Sacheverell Sitwell (1897-1988) both distinguished authors, well-known literary figures in their own right, and long-term collaborators. Sacheverell married a Canadian woman, Georgia Doble, in 1925 and ... more »

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Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell Quotations

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  • ''I have often wished I had time to cultivate modesty.... But I am too busy thinking about myself.''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet. Quoted in Observer (London, April 30, 1950).
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  • ''Vulgarity is, in reality, nothing but a modern, chic, pert descendant of the goddess Dullness.''
    Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), British poet, critic. Taken Care Of, ch. 19 (1965).
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Best Poem of Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell

When Cold December

WHEN cold December
Froze to grisamber
The jangling bells on the sweet rose-trees--
Then fading slow
And furred is the snow
As the almond's sweet husk--
And smelling like musk.
The snow amygdaline
Under the eglantine
Where the bristling stars shine
Like a gilt porcupine--
The snow confesses
The little Princesses
On their small chioppines
Dance under the orpines.
See the casuistries
Of their slant fluttering eyes--
Gilt as the zodiac
(Dancing Herodiac).
Only the snow slides
Like gilded myrrh--
From the ...

Read the full of When Cold December