Bright young things

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This article is about young aristocrats of 1920s London. For the film, see Bright Young Things (film).

The Bright Young Things, or Bright Young People,[1][2] was a nickname given by the tabloid press to a group of bohemian young aristocrats and socialites in 1920s London.[3] They threw elaborate fancy dress parties, went on elaborate treasure hunts through nighttime London, drank heavily and used drugs—all of which was enthusiastically covered by journalists such as Tom Driberg.[4] They inspired a number of writers, including Nancy Mitford (Highland Fling), Anthony Powell (A Dance to the Music of Time), Henry Green (Party Going) and the poet John Betjeman (A Subaltern's Love Song). Evelyn Waugh's 1930 novel Vile Bodies, adapted as the 2003 film Bright Young Things, is a satirical look at this scene.[4] Cecil Beaton began his career in photography by documenting this set, of which he was a member.[5]

List of Bright Young People[edit]


  • Taylor, D.J. (2009). Bright Young People: The Lost Generation of London's Jazz Age. New York: DFarrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0374116830. 
  1. ^ Fashion page ref
  2. ^ Social history ref
  3. ^ Philip Hoare, ‘Tennant, Stephen James Napier (1906–1987)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004
  4. ^ a b Rubin, Martin (2009-01-10). "Book Review of "Bright Young People" -". Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  5. ^ "Chris Beetles Gallery Announces a Cecil Beaton Collaboration with Sotheby's". Art Knowledge News. 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2010-05-08.