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Edith Sitwell was born into an eccentric aristocratic family rich, old, puissant and spent her childhood on the imposing estate of her parents Renishaw Hall. She had two younger brothers, Osbert and Sacheverell, who later would be both writer. Her relationship with her parents was strained, particularly with her strict father, who left her for example a metal corset wear to the State of her spine to correct. Edith departed on her twenty-fifth to London, along with her governess Helen Rootham, which let make her knowledge with the poetry of the French poets and symbolic who later became her partner.
Sitwell published her first poems In 1913, in the Daily Mirror and in 1915, she published her first collection of poems, The Mother and Other Poems. Between 1916 and 1921 she gave a avant-garde anthology out, Wheels, along with her two brothers and Rootham, with whom she formed the poets club "The Sitwells". The early poetry of Sitwell shows clear influences of the French surrealism of that time. They gained in 1923 the performance of Façade, a series of abstract poems, with a strong emphasis on rhythm and diction, recited in a whimsical decor by herself, on accompanying music of the young composer William Walton. In fact, it was deliberately Sitwell on public and the critics to provoke her, as she later recalled in her autobiography. Many criticisms in that period were damning.
In the years between 1915 and 1930 became Sitwells preparation of less aggressive and nature, flowers and animals got the upper hand in her poetry. In the 1930s she laid on writing biographies romanticized, among other things of Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift (1930) (1937). In The English Eccentrics (1933, Dutch title: Strange portraits) let them a large number of eccentric individuals from different historical periods sharp presented.
The horrors of the Second World War brought Sitwell back to the poetry and led to a number of poems in the war period known as Still falls the rain, written in response to the air raids on London, set to music by Benjamin Britten.
After the war, the anciently often maligned Sitwell praised short of all sides. She received numerous official awards, including its entry in the order of the British Empire. In 1948 and 1950 she made along with her brother Osbert extremely successful "lecture tours" by the United States. Her collected poems appeared In 1954.
Sitwell wrote himself in the 1950s another autobiography, in which she paints portraits of lively but sometimes somewhat caricatural especially writers and poets who were her after, such as Aldous Huxley and the young Dylan Thomas. Rebellious and eccentric in public, she was, as she wrote, "an extremely mild person in private".
- Clowns ' Houses (1918)
- Rustic Elegies (1927)
- Gold Coast Customs (1929)
- The Song of the Cold (1948)
- Façade, and Other Poems 1920-1935 (1950)
- Gardeners and Astronomers (1953)
- Collected Poems (1957)
- The Outcasts (1962)
- Alexander Pope (1930)
- The English Eccentrics (1933)
- I Live under a Black Sun (1937)
- Fanfare for Elizabeth (1946)
- The Queens and the Hive (1962)
- Victoria von England
- My Eccentric Life
- A. Bachrach e.a.: Encyclopedia of world literature. Bussum, 1980-1984. ISBN 90-228-4330-0
- E. Salter: The Last Years of a Rebel: A Memoir of Edith Sitwell. Boston, 1967.
- Victoria Glendinning: Edith Sitwell: A Unicorn Among Lions. London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1981.