James Stourton

Italy in Derbyshire

Renishaw Hall: The Story of the Sitwells

By

Elliott & Thompson 273pp £25 order from our bookshop

Desmond Seward has written a revisionist history of those birds of brilliant plumage the Sitwells. It realigns the wicked father of the story, Sir George, as the hero. Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell – the famous trio of siblings – could be generous, but they could also be spiteful, and they traduced nobody more than their own father, who, Seward demonstrates, educated them in so many of the baroque tastes they went on to champion. Seward has cloaked this reassessment of the family within a history of their celebrated Derbyshire home, Renishaw Hall. Rambling, gaunt – half playful Gothick, half brooding

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