Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant

Philip Hoare, Author H. Hamilton $29.95 (463p) ISBN 978-0-241-12416-1
As the subject of his first book, British journalist Hoare chooses a glamorous figure from England's past. The Hon. Stephen Tennant, artist/writer, accomplished little professionally during his life (1906-1987) but his beauty and wit dominated his circle of productive companions: Cecil Beaton, E. M. Forster, the Sitwells, the Bloomsbury group, etc. Admirers from abroad as well (Greta Gardo, the young Truman Capote) visited Wilsford Manor, Tennant's country estate in Wiltshire; Willa Cather, despite her initial impressions of the flashy youth, became a loyal friend. A cold side of Tennant, however, is revealed in his cruel break with his lover, poet Siegfried Sassoon, who never recovered from the rejection. Hoare's extensive research is backed by excerpts from the subject's correspondence, interviews with survivors of the glittering age and striking photos, all heightening interest in a definitive Peter Pan. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 463 pages - 978-0-14-016532-6
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