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Edith (1887-1964)
 
Edith Louisa was an innovative poet ahead of her time, she was a writer of prose and literary criticism, and she was an editor, interested in encouraging new writing, one of the first to publish the war poetry of Wilfred Owen.

Born at Wood End on 7th September 1887 she was an immediate disappointment. Of the wrong gender, she was not the expected heir to her father, Sir George. Failing to reflect the beauty of her mother, Lady Ida, a lifelong maternal barrier was established. Raised in Scarborough she gained an early affection for its sights and sounds as her nurse Davis took her and her brothers on their perambulations. A sturdy and self-reliant girl, this natural disposition brought her later conflict with her father as her latent talents surfaced. Davis, a source of Edith's lonely affections, was with her until she was thirteen.

Fortunately for Edith, who lacked any formal education, she was given a new tutor in 1902. Helen Rootham was to prove Edith's amanuensis, and this well educated musical woman would stay with her until Helen's death in Paris in 1938. When, in 1913, Edith left her roots to settle in London, Helen shared the rent of an upper floor flat in Moscow Road, Bayswater so poor was Edith's allowance.

Her poetry and biography writing brought her a wide circle of similarly gifted friends, though "Facade", her poetry set to the musical composition of William Walton, attracted extremes of criticism. In the post war years she and Osbert enjoyed critical acclaim in America, and her accomplishments brought the validation she sought when she was elevated to a Dame in the Honours List of June 1954.

Edith passed away on 9th Dec 1964. She wrote near the end of her life, "I am resigned to the fact that people who don't know me, loathe me. Perhaps it is because I am a woman who dares to write poetry." (Quoted, Greene, R. (2011) Edith Sitwell, Avant Garde Poet, English Genius. Virago. P 5.) She could be a difficult person, however, she could also be loyal and warm. The Festival Hall was packed out with adoring fans for her 75th Birthday party in 1962.

Near Weston Hall, the former home of her brother Sacheverell, is the village of Weedon Lois. There, in the churchyard extension, not too close to her mother, is her grave. Her headstone is decorated by a sculpture by Henry Moore showing a child's hand encircling a woman's thumb.