Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, 6th Baronet

Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, 6th Baronet

infobox writer
name = Sacheverell Sitwell
birthname = Sir Sacheverell Reresby Sitwell
birthdate = birth date|1897|11|15|df=y
birthplace = Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK
deathdate = death date and age|1988|10|1|1897|11|15|df=y
occupation = Writer
period = 1918-1986
genre =
spouse = Georgia Doble (1925-1980)
children = George, Francis
relatives George Sitwell (father) Edith Sitwell Osbert Sitwell

Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, 6th Baronet CH (15 November 1897 – 1 October 1988) was an English writer, best known as an art critic and writer on architecture, particularly the baroque. He was the younger brother of Dame Edith Sitwell and Sir Osbert Sitwell.


He was the son of Sir George Sitwell, 4th Baronet of Renishaw Hall. His mother was the former Lady Ida Emily Augusta Denison, a daughter of the Earl of Londesborough and a granddaughter of Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort. She claimed a descent through female lines from the Plantagenets. In his later life he became more reticent about associating himself with the publicity attaching to the Sitwells collectively, travelling and concentrating on writing. He became the 6th baronet, inheriting the title when Osbert died in 1969. He was made a Companion of Honour in 1984. His main residence was Weston Hall, Northamptonshire, the family home.

The youngest child of Sir George Reresby Sitwell, he was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire and brought up in Derbyshire; he was educated at Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford. In World War I he served from 1916 in the British Army, in the Grenadier Guards.

After the war he went to Balliol but did not complete a degree; and was heavily involved in Osbert and Edith's projects. In 1925 he married a Canadian, Georgia Doble. Constant Lambert set to music "The Rio Grande", one of his poems, and it was performed and broadcast in 1929.

Because his poetry was so severely criticised by those who disliked the Sitwells in general, and although "Canons of Giant Art" is a work of very considerable impact, he refused to publish any of his poems for many years. In 1967 Derek Parker published a selection of his poems in the summer edition of "Poetry Review", including his elegy for his beloved sister Edith. Among his most remarkable and original works are a series of lengthly auto-biographical and art-based "fantasias" such as "For Want of the Golden City", "The Hunters and the Hunted", "Dance of the Quick and the Dead"(1936) that defy easy classification. The list of works below is incomplete.


*"The People's Palace" (1918; poems)
*"The Hundred and One Harlequins" (1922; poems)
*"Southern Baroque Art: a Study of Painting, Architecture and Music in Italy and Spain of the 17th & 18th Centuries" (1924)
*"The Thirteenth Caesar" (1924; poems)
*"German Baroque Art" (1927)
*"The Cyder Feast" (1927; poems)
*"All At Sea: A Social Tragedy in Three Acts for First-Class Passengers Only" (1927) with Osbert Sitwell
*"The Gothick North: a Study of Mediaeval Life, Art, and Thought" (1929)
*"Dr. Donne and Gargantua" (1930) poems
*"Spanish Baroque Art, with Buildings in Portugal, Mexico, and Other Colonies" (1931)
*"Mozart" (1932)
*"Canons of Giant Art: Twenty Torsos in Heroic Landscapes" (1933)
*"Conversation Pieces: a Survey of English Domestic Portraits and their Painters" (1936)
*"Narrative Pictures: a Survey of English Genre and its Painters" (1938)
*"German Baroque Sculpture" (1938)
*"Roumanian Journey" (1938)
*"The Romantic Ballet" (1938) with C. W. Beaumont
*"Old Fashioned Flowers" (1939)
*"Poltergeists: An Introduction and Examination Followed By Chosen Instances" (1940)
*"The Homing of the Winds: and other passages in prose." Faber & Faber, London (1942)
*"Primitive Scenes and Festivals" Faber & Faber, London (1942)
*"The Hunters and the Hunted" (1948)
*"Selected Poems" (1948)
*"The Netherlands; A Study of Some Aspects of Art, Costume and Social Life" (1948)
*"Tropical Birds" (1948)
*"Spain" (1950)
*"Cupid and the Jacaranda" (1952)
*"Fine Bird Books" (1953) with Handasyde Buchanan and James Fisher
*"Liszt" (1955)
*"Denmark" (1956)
*"Arabesque & Honeycomb" (1957)
*"Journey to the Ends of Time, etc." (1959)
*"British Architects & Craftsmen: survey taste, design, styles 1600-1830" (1960)
*"Golden Wall and Mirador: Travels and Observations in Peru" (1961)
*"Great Houses of Europe" (1964)
*"Monks, Nuns and Monasteries" (1965)
*"Southern Baroque Revisited" (1967)
*"Gothic Europe" (1969)
*"A Background for Domenico Scarlatti, 1685-1757: Written for His Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary" (1970)
*"Tropicalia" (1971; poems)
*"Agamemnon's Tomb" (1972; poems)
*"For Want of the Golden City" (1973)
*"Battles of the Centaurs" (1973)
*"Les Troyens" (1973)
*"Look at Sowerby's English Mushrooms and Fungi" (1974)
*"A Notebook on My New Poems" (1974)
*"All Summer in a Day : An Autobiographical Fantasia" (1976)
*"Placebo" (1977)
*"An Indian Summer: 100 recent poems" (1982; poems)
*"Hortus Sitwellianus" (1984) with Meriel Edmunds and George Reresby Sitwell
*"Sacheverell Sitwell's England" (1986) edited by Michael Raeburn


*"Sacheverell Sitwell: Splendours and Miseries" (1993) Sarah Bradford
*"Sacheverell Sitwell: A Symposium "(1975) edited by Derek Parker
*"Sitwelliana 1915-1927" (1928) Thomas Balston
*"A Nest of Tigers: The Sitwells in Their Times" (1968) John Lehmann

External links

* [ Sacheverell Sitwell Collection] at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRHRC)
* [ Georgia Doble Sitwell Collection] at the HRHRC

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