Noël Coward and the Sitwells: enmity, celebrity, popularity

Hammill, F. (2015) Noël Coward and the Sitwells: enmity, celebrity, popularity. Journal of Modern Literature, 39(1), pp. 129-148. (doi:10.2979/jmodelite.39.1.129)

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Abstract

In 1923, the year of the first public performance of Edith Sitwell and William Walton's Façade, Noël Coward satirized the Sitwell siblings in his sketch “The Swiss Family Whittlebot.” The result was an enduring feud between Coward and the Sitwells that shaped their celebrity personae and inflected responses to their work in the periodical press. They confronted each other across a class divide, and also across the perceived barrier between difficult modernism and accessible popular entertainment. Yet, in spite of these oppositional stances, certain convergences in their styles of writing and performance suggest a possible appeal to a shared audience. The interconnectedness of Coward's work with Edith Sitwell's, in particular, can be discerned on the level of literary style, influences, and parodic strategies.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hammill, Professor Faye
Authors: Hammill, F.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Journal of Modern Literature
Publisher:Indiana University Press
ISSN:0022-281X
ISSN (Online):1529-1464
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Indiana University Press
First Published:First published in Journal of Modern Literature 39(1): 129-148
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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