“A fascinating book that takes us deep into Edith Sitwell’s world of artifice, disguise, high camp, and verbal ingenuity. In these essays, Sitwell emerges as a central figure in an alternative avant-garde in early twentieth-century Britain.”—Faye Hammill, author of Sophistication: A Literary and Cultural History
Establishing Edith Sitwell at the center of British modernism, this volume showcases her many achievements in poetry, autobiography, novel writing, criticism, art, and performance. Forgoing the gossip about her eccentric appearance and self-fashioned persona that has too often overshadowed serious writing about her work, the contributors explore how Sitwell combined persona and poetry to foster an outpouring of iconoclastic creativity.
The Many Facades of Edith Sitwell argues that Sitwell was crucial to the development of a British avant-garde that operated alongside the conventionally accepted transatlantic modernism of Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot. With Sitwell as an influential literary player and social architect, the British interwar arts scene was not an ascetic escape from personality—as the modernism of Pound and Eliot has often been characterized—but an alternative space of flamboyant, extravagant, and ornate performance.
Allan Pero is associate professor of English at the University of Western Ontario. Gyllian Phillips is associate professor of English studies at Nipissing University.