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Osbert Sitwell
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Author
    (December 6, 1892-May 4, 1969)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Francis Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell
    Brother of Dame Edith Sitwell
    Wrote the poetry collections 'Argonaut and Juggernaut' (1919), 'At the House of Mrs. Kinfoot' (1921) and 'Selected Poems' (1943)
    Wrote the novels 'Before the Bombardment' (1926), 'The Man Who Lost Himself' (1929), 'Miracle on Sinai' (1934) and 'Those Were the Days' (1937)
    Wrote the libretto for William Walton's opera 'Belshazzar's Feast' (1931)
    Wrote a five-volume autobiography: 'Left Hand, Right Hand' (1943), 'The Scarlet Tree' (1946), 'Great Morning' (1948), 'Laughter in the Next Room' (1949) and 'Noble Essences' (1950)
    He twice flunked the entrance exam to Sandhurst military academy.
    He sucked up to royalty.
    He was anti-semitic.
    He was a closeted homosexual who kvetched about flamboyantly gay people.
    He praised Franco and Mussolini and said that fascism would 'give the people what they really wanted.'
    Evelyn Waugh described him as 'hypersensitive.'
    Virginia Woolf complained about his 'childish vanity.'
    Critic F.R. Leavis said that the Sitwells 'belonged to the history of publicity rather than that of poetry.'
    He started writing poetry while serving in the trenches in WWI.
    He and his brother Sacheverell sponsored a then-controversial art exhibit by Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani and Utrillo (1918).
    He was described as 'a warm and witty (and endlessly extravagant) host.'
    'Life' wrote that his and Edith's tour of America 'gave the New York literary set its biggest thrill in years.' (1948)
    Despite having been a spendthrift in his youth, he proved an adept handler of the family's finances.
    One critic called his career 'a triumph of willpower over the limitations set by mere talent.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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