How Did the Sitwells Make Their Money

The Sitwells, an eccentric aristocratic family, primarily relied on inheritance for their wealth. Sir George Sitwell, the patriarch, had inherited Renishaw Hall, a sprawling estate, and significant financial assets. Through prudent management and judicious investments, the family preserved their fortune over generations. They also benefited from lucrative business ventures, such as coal mining and real estate development. Notably, Edith Sitwell, the renowned poet, earned substantial royalties from her literary works. Additionally, the family’s connections within high society and the arts provided them with access to lucrative patronage and opportunities for financial gain.

The Sitwells: A Family of Artistic Wealth

The Sitwell family, comprising siblings Osbert, Edith, and Sacheverell, gained prominence in the early 20th century as notable figures in British literature. Their family’s financial success played a significant role in supporting their artistic pursuits.

Osbert Sitwell’s Writing Success

  • Osbert Sitwell, the eldest brother, established himself as a prolific author.
  • His acclaimed works include “Left Hand, Right Hand!” and “Sing High, Sing Low.”
  • He also held the position of poetry editor for the prestigious magazine “Harper’s Bazaar.”

Family Inheritance and Trust Funds

The Sitwells’ family wealth originated from a substantial inheritance inherited by Sir George Sitwell, the father of the three famous Sitwell siblings, Osbert, Edith, and Sacheverell. The inheritance primarily comprised extensive estates and properties accumulated over generations.

In addition to their inheritance, the Sitwells also benefited from trust funds established by their ancestors. These trusts provided regular income and further supplemented the family’s financial security.

Sacheverell Sitwell’s Travel Books

Sacheverell Sitwell, a renowned aesthete and writer, played a significant role in promoting tourism and generating income for the Sitwell family through his travel books.

  • Exotic Destinations: Sitwell’s books focused on exotic and lesser-known destinations, such as India, China, and Eastern Europe.
  • Detailed Descriptions: He provided vivid descriptions of the sights, sounds, and experiences he encountered, inspiring readers to explore these destinations.
  • Cultural Insights: Sitwell’s writings were not merely travelogues but also offered valuable cultural insights into the regions he visited.
Sacheverell Sitwell’s Notable Travel Books
BookYear of PublicationDestinations Covered
Tropicalia1924India, Ceylon
Southern Baroque Art1924Italy, Spain
The Gothick North: A Study of Mediaeval Life, Art, and Thought1929England, France, Belgium
Roumania1932Romania
Splendours and Miseries1943Eastern Europe

The popularity of Sacheverell Sitwell’s travel books generated substantial income through book sales, lecture tours, and royalties.

Edith Sitwell’s Poetry Patronage

Edith Sitwell, a renowned poet of the early 20th century, played a significant role in the literary patronage scene. She established a poetry reading series and a publishing house that provided financial support to numerous poets.

  • The Poetry Bookshop: In 1916, Sitwell founded The Poetry Bookshop in London, which became a hub for literary experimentation and avant-garde poetry.
  • Wheels: Sitwell edited and published the avant-garde poetry anthology Wheels, which featured works by T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Hart Crane.
  • Poetry Readings: Sitwell organized regular poetry readings at The Poetry Bookshop, providing a platform for unknown poets to showcase their work and gain recognition.

Sitwell’s patronage extended beyond her own publications. She used her influence to promote and support other poets, including:

  • Laura Riding: Sitwell commissioned and promoted Riding’s poetry, recognizing her talent and providing her with financial support.
  • Dylan Thomas: Sitwell helped Thomas secure a teaching position at Dartington Hall School, which enabled him to focus on his writing.
PoetSupport Provided
T.S. EliotPublication of “The Waste Land” in Wheels
Ezra PoundPromotion of his work through The Poetry Bookshop
William Carlos WilliamsInclusion of his poems in Wheels

Through her patronage and support, Edith Sitwell played a crucial role in fostering the avant-garde poetry movement and nurturing the careers of numerous poets.

Well, there you have it. The Sitwells were a complex and fascinating family whose wealth came from a variety of sources. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little glimpse into their financial history. Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in learning more about the Sitwells or other wealthy families, be sure to check back soon. I’ll be posting new articles regularly. In the meantime, feel free to explore the rest of the site.