Home from Exile


“I have



I had time

to cultivate


But I am

too busy




~Edith Sitwell


One of the true originals of her day, the poetess Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), had an unerring sense for the absurd. (She was, after all, the only daughter of a celebrated eccentric, Sir George Sitwell, 4th Baronet, of Renishaw Hall, an expert on genealogy and landscaping). EA will be featuring a few of her witticisms and more about her notoriously singular personality in the weeks ahead.

Suffice it to say for this post that Ms. Sitwell was known to cast an unusual presence wherever she appeared. For example, at her official reception into the folds of the venerated Roman Catholic Church in August of 1955, the famed English actor, Sir Alec Guinness, who was in attendance that day, described her as such:


“Her tall figure,
swathed in black,
looking like some
strange eccentric bird…
she seemed like
an ageing princess
come home
from exile.”


(Image) Portrait of Edith Sitwell, 1915 (oil on canvas) by Fry, Roger Eliot (1866-1934).




~ by eaesthete on 05/22/10.

7 Responses to “Home from Exile”

  1. Oh so true. I also love your new Winston Churchill quote as well. Your well-deserved exile has proven to be fruitful. Welcome back!

  2. Be sure to include pictures the grandeur of the family home.

  3. Home is where the heart is. I do love intelligent people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

  4. Humility and how I gained it? Always loved that ironic statement! Welcome back.

  5. wonderful!!! cant wait to hear more about her…

  6. We’ve missed you.
    Edith Sitwell is magnificent. I’m rather tempted to steal that quote.
    xx Miss W

  7. thank you for posting this fascinating piece on Edith Sitwell – I look forward to more. She was quite a character as far as I can work out – although I think that opinion is divided as to how good her poetry really was? Anyway – a fascinating post thanks for sharing


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