Bright young things

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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]



  1. ^ Pauline Thomas. "1920s Flapper Fashion History. C20th Costume History for Women in the 1920's". Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "14 - 1920s Entertainment 1920s Music 1920s Popular Entertainment Radio 1922 Sports Pink Flannel". Archived from the original on 13 August 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  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. ^ "Cecil Beaton: in association with Sotheby's". Chris Beetles Galleries. 2009. Retrieved 2015-04-02. 


  • Taylor, D.J. (2009). Bright Young People: The Lost Generation of London's Jazz Age. New York: DFarrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0374116830.  (U.S edition)
    • Taylor, D.J. (2007). Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918–1940. London: Chatto & Windus. ISBN 0701177543. (British edition)

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