Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, 6th Baronet

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Sacheverell Sitwell

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir George Reresby Sitwell, 4th Baronet and Ida Emily Augusta Sitwell
Husband of Georgia Sitwell
Father of Sir Reresby Sitwell, 7th Baronet and Francis Trajan Sacheverell Sitwell
Brother of Dame Edith Sitwell, DBE and Sir Osbert Sitwell, 5th Baronet

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:

About Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, 6th Baronet

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, instead preferring to travel and concentrate 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 and he served as High Sheriff of Northamptonshire for 1948.

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 1928.

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; contains The Rio Grande, the basis of Constant Lambert's The Rio Grande)

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)

Dance of the Quick and the Dead (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

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Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, 6th Baronet's Timeline

November 15, 1897
Age 29
Age 37
October 1, 1988
Age 90