image for Talk item typeALEXANDRA HARRIS - Sitwells, Walton and Façade at St Mary's Church

Talk, Wed 16 Aug 2017


North Norfolk Music Festival

01328 730357


Church Lane,
South Creake,
NR21 9LX


This talk will set the scene for “Façade”, exploring a gallimaufry of hornpipes, shady ladies, and seaside songs. Virginia Woolf came away non-plussed from the first public performance in 1923, but she went back to listen again. There was an inscrutable, enduring power in what Edith Sitwell called her poems of “sadness masked by gaiety”. Why were the words spoken from behind a curtain? And how did this collaboration between Walton and Sitwell, with its eccentric mix of Victoriana and Jazz, establish itself as a modernist phenomenon?

Alexandra Harris is Professor of English at the University of Liverpool, and the author of Weatherland: Writers and Artists under English Skies. She wrote about the Sitwells in her first book, Romantic Moderns.

Event details

Dates Times
Wed 16 Aug 2017 17:00




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