Buy Used
£1.69
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by bestsellersuk
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: No.1 BESTSELLERS - great prices and friendly customer service. All orders are dispatched next working day. Visit our store on Amazon for a full selection of titles.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Edith Sitwell: Avant garde poet, English genius Hardcover – 3 Mar 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£10.00 £0.77

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; 1st Edition edition (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860499678
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860499678
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 393,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

* A brilliant and revealing new biography of the renowned - and controversial - poet Edith Sitwell, restoring her to her poper position as one of England leading poets of the 1920s

From the Back Cover

'A wonderful new biography . . . Brilliant, wise, funny and affectionate. It is perfection, actually' Roger Lewis, Daily Mail

A strange combination of kindness and cruelty, courage and duplicity, simplicity and artifice - Edith Sitwell was undoubtedly eccentric and savagely amusing. But Sitwell is a writer who matters - enormously. And as a poet, the most significant events in her life were the poems. It is thirty years since a biography of this important poet last appeared. It is time to look again at Edith Sitwell.

'Sitwell is important: a modernist pioneer; a glorious example of the outsider life well led...This book contains so much that is new - Greene has had access to Sitwell's vast correspondence with the painter Pavel Tchelitchew, with whom she had an unreciprocated, non-physical love affair - and will no doubt be considered definitive' Rachel Cooke, Observer


'Greene has made a convincing case for her peculiar genius. This is excellent, particularly in its analysis of Edith's poetry and her literary relationships'
Sarah Bradford, Literary Review


'Greene takes pains to show us the private Sitwell, her loyalty and sympathy, her gentleness and generosity, her loneliness and vulnerability.' Deborah Longworth, THES

'Glows with loving admiration for her generous spirit, fierce sense of vocation, and shameless, irrepressible quirkiness . . . Richard Greene is an intelligent, sympathetic writer.' Richard Davenport-Hines, Sunday Telegraph

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

See all Product Description

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Ancient Mariner is endowed with the phrase `He prayeth best, who lovest best.' Equally truthful this reviewer attests, is he writeth best who lovest best. Astonishingly Richard Greene's absorbing biography is the tops, and succeeds despite the fact that Edith Sitwell just wasn't very loveable and on the personal level he's a bit matter-of-fact and could have dug deeper into her loves and sorrows. But he does give Sitwell her just deserts. He censures and praises objectively. He upholds her where support is deserved, as where he defends her gallantly from a particularly misogynistic attack from the poet Geoffrey Grigson. He shows how she bravely overcame setbacks to become one of the foremost poets of the twentieth century in a milieu that was still a man's world, in a book that gets better and better as one reads on.

One does wonder though whether he should have assigned more of Sitwell's letters to the notes, and freed more space to develop his own themes; and why footnotes haven't been used for some of the peripheral characters not profiled in the text. And here and there the outcomes of latent dispositions are frustratingly unexplained, such as a clarification of Rudolf Steiner's `idea of awakening from a mineral sleep.'

There's no doubt that Sitwell had some unpleasant traits: she had an acid tongue and quarrelled regularly; she was stiff and starchy; and she could be snobbish and spiteful even with her own close friends. For instance Greene mentions that she fell out with Nancy Cunard and subsequently hated her; no wonder, for the alluring Nancy had the beauty and social grace Sitwell lacked herself.
Read more ›
Comment 4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
If all you know of Edith Sitwell is a plumby voice on a recording of Facade or the arresting portrait by Wyndham Lewis then buy this book. Sitwell is a fascinating character, and Greene is well established as the editor of her letters and critic of the English literary scene in this period, and writes with authority and wit.
Greene argues that Sitwell has been neglected, perhaps overshadowed by her own persona, and this detailed and scholarly (and entertaining and well-paced)work goes some way to restoring her profile. But this is not a book simply to crusade for her restitution; Greene, whose edition of Graham Greene's letters were warmly received, is a good writer: insightful, engaging and with a fine style.
Comment 11 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the book a very informative narrative about an extreemly enigmatic and intriging woman.The author`s attempt to explain Edith Sitwell by family and friends letters and diary comments has only begun to lift the veil to this complex woman.
Comment 4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Although I've read a great deal of poetry published since the 1940s, I've read very little of Edith Sitwell's. The little that I have read seems out of tune with modern poetic voices, being based as it is on religious visions, on myth, on symbols, on grand sweeping ideas, the kind of poetry that flowed out of Victorian seriousness and eventually found its apotheosis in Eliot's 'The Four Quartets'. Richard Greene rightly quotes a lot of Edith's poetry in this engaging biography, but this, on the whole, though there are many flashes of brilliance, did not change my view of it. I like poetry rooted in emotional and sensory experience, that leaves the grand themes implied, that uses language less like music and more like condensed natural speech. Edith's poetry inhabits an older, more literary, more symbolic, more impersonal world that harks back to Yeats and Blake, a world more difficult now for the general modern reader to enter. Poetry has moved on a lot since she died 50 years ago.

But there is also the life: Edith Sitwell was a literary figure on the grand scale, legendary, colourful, unique, a dream subject for a literary biographer. Greene has succeeded (as Victoria Glendinning did too in her earlier biography) in conveying Edith's imperious, witty, snobbish, kind-hearted, hard-working, long-suffering nature, leaving this reader at least full of admiration for what she was and what she achieved. In England she was practically the only female poet of any real stature, a position she achieved not by privilege or by a superior education, but by a combination of intelligence, a poetic gift, and a determination to succeed.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well researched and comprehensive life of Edith Sitwell. An excellent introduction to a lesser known 20th century poet. I have enjoyed the book greatly and would recommend it to other poetry and literature fans.
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Look for similar items by category


Feedback