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Record 18896

Reading Experience:

'Dear Miss Stein, Thank you so much for your letter and the wonderful portrait, which followed me through Spain, and only reached me last night, on my return from Toledo. I read the portrait aloud at dinner to an audience of my two brothers, a young composer called William Walton, and a young painter called Richard Wyndham, and, tired as we were, it exhilerated, stimulated, at the same time calmed our nerves to the extraordinary degree. The sound and rhythm seem to me, if I may say so, inevitability itself - but nobody but you would have found this inevitability. You can have no idea what a delight it is to me that you are going to include this in the book. I am waiting for the appearance of that book with the greatest impatience, and I do hope Duckworth's will take it, because it is a nice firm, and it will be such a feather in their cap.'
Century: 1900-1945
Date: 23 Apr 1925
Country: Spain
Time: evening
Place: city: Madrid
specific address: Hotel Reina Victoria
location in dwelling: Hotel Room
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Edith Sitwell
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender n/a
Date of Birth 7 Sep 1887
Socio-economic group: Gentry
Occupation: Poet
Religion: Christian
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: Spain
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Osbert Sitwell, Sacheverall Sitwell (reader's brothers), William Walton ( composer) and Richard Wyndham ( artist).
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Gertrude Stein
Title: 'Sitwell, Edith Sitwell': a word portrait
Genre: Essays / Criticism, Poetry, Biography
Form of Text: Manuscript: Letter, A 'word portrait' so possibly contained in a letter.
Publication details: Subsequently published in Composition as Explanation (London 1926)
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 18896  
Source - Print  
  Author: Sitwell Edith
  Editor: Richard Greene
  Title: Selected Letters of Edith Sitwell
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 1998
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 54 -55
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Sitwell Edith, Richard Greene (ed.), Selected Letters of Edith Sitwell (London, 1998), p. 54 -55,, accessed: 09 December 2019

Additional comments:

Edith subsequently pursuaded Gertrude Stein to cross the Channel from France to lecture in England in Oxford and Cambridge. In June 1926, Stein read 'Sitwell, Edith Sitwell' to an audience at Oxford University. Harold Acton commented " No, I could not see any likeness, nor apparantly, could Edith, for she was trying not to look as embarrassed as she felt. Sachie looked as if he were swallowing a plum and Osbert shifted in his insufficient chair with a vague nervousness in his eyes" ( 'Harold Acton, Memoirs of an Aesthete' quoted in Victoria Glendinning ' Edith Sitwell,A Unicorn Among Lions'(London 1991 p.118). Thus is Edith's response to Stein perhaps an indication of her inclination for exuberance and effusiveness to those whom she decided to champion.



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)