Victoria of England

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Faber & Faber, 1935 - Great Britain - 390 pages
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User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

A biography of the famous monarch. I think Edith Sitwell had some family connection, and was certainly familiar with some parts of the Royal environment. I did not find this the best biography of Victoria I have read. There is a small amount of the international situation from time to time. Read full review



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About the author (1935)

The first child of Sir George Sitwell and Lady Ida Sitwell, Edith Sitwell became famous both as poet and bohemian. Reacting against what she called the "dim bucolics" of the Georgians, she and her brothers Osbert and Sacheverell constituted a kind of aristocratic bohemian vanguard after World War I. Sergei Diaghilev's (see Vol. 3) Russian Ballet joined T. S. Eliot and, improbably, Alexander Pope among the early influences on her work. A skilled publicist as well as poet, Sitwell exploited her upper-class nonconformity in numerous public controversies. Her collaboration with William Walton to produce musical settings of the Facade poems (1923) created an uproar when the work was performed. Sitwell also put her talents to work for young writers in whom she believed, chief among them Dylan Thomas, whose reputation she helped launch. Despite later public honors---Elizabeth II created her a Dame Grand Cross of the British Empire, and Oxford and Cambridge bestowed honorary degrees---she remained proudly eccentric throughout her celebrated career. Sitwell's early poetry displayed a pyrotechnic surface of dazzling images and leaps. She saw Eliot's Prufrock and Other Observations (1917) as heralding "a new era in poetry," which would lead to poets seeing the world with new eyes. Breakthroughs in perception often became the themes as well as goals of her poetry. Interested particularly in French symbolist theories of sound, she developed an intricate tonal play of verbal patterns in her verse. Her work displayed an increasingly religious orientation, and during World War II, she engaged such public themes as politics more overtly in works like Three Poems for an Atomic Age. Besides her own verse, she wrote several books of prose and edited numerous anthologies of poetry.

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