The Sitwells (Edith Sitwell, Osbert Sitwell, Sacheverell Sitwell), from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, were three siblings, who formed an identifiable literary and artistic clique around themselves in London in the period roughly 1916 to 1930. This was marked by some well-publicised events, the most prominent of which was probably Edith's Façade with music by William Walton, with its public debut in 1923. All three Sitwells wrote; for a while their circle was considered by some to rival Bloomsbury, though others dismissed them as attention-seekers rather than serious artists.
The first Sitwell venture was the series of Wheels anthologies produced from 1916. These were seen either as a counterweight to the contemporary Edward Marsh Georgian Poetry anthologies, or as light 'society verse' collections. They did not really match the Imagist anthologies of the same years, or the modernist wing, in terms of finding poets with important careers ahead of them, but included both Nancy Cunard and Aldous Huxley.
Coat of arms
Barry of eight or and vert, charged with three lions rampant sable. The motto is Ne cede malis (Latin: Yield not to misfortune).
There is a coffee shop in Cincinnati, Ohio, named Sitwell's Coffee House in honour of Edith Sitwell.
A poem by Ogden Nash contains a reference to the family: "How many miles to Babylon? / Love-in-a-mist and Bovril. / Are there more Sitwells than one? / Oh yes, there are Sacheverell."
- Townend, Peter (ed.). Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage (103rd Edition). Burke's Peerage Limited. pp. 2237–2238.
- Scarborough Museums site
- the Sitwell Collections at the HRC
- The Sitwells—published by the National Portrait Gallery to accompany the exhibition "The Sitwells and the arts of the 1920s and 1930s"; hardback ISBN 1-85514-140-X; paperback ISBN 1-85514-141-8
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