Osbert Sitwell (1892 -1969)

Having written his first poems in the trenches at Ypres, Osbert published volumes of poetry in 1919 and 1921. He also produced fiction and travel writing.

After succeeding his father as Baronet of Renishaw in 1943, he wrote a five volume autobiography that was his most famous work; Left Hand Right Hand.

With his brother, he sponsored an exhibition of work by Matisse, Utrillo, Picasso and Modigliani in the 1920s. Also with Sachie he was a patron of the composer William Walton, whose cantata Belshazzar’s Feast was written to Osbert’s libretto, and composed in the stables at Weston.

He was a friend of the royal family and at the time of the abdication wrote an anonymously published poem, “Rat Week”, attacking friends of King Edward VIII who deserted him when his relationship with Mrs Simpson became known.

Osbert and his companion David Horner split their time between Renishaw Hall in Derbyshire and Montegufoni, a castle near Florence in Italy, which his father had bought derelict in 1909 and restored.

Osbert abandoned writing in the 1960s owing to Parkinson’s disease. He died in 1969 at Montegufoni.