Born into a privileged family of eccentrics, Edith Sitwell set out during the years of the Great War to create a life in the arts. A friend of Siegfried Sassoon, T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf and Gertrude Stein, she ran an unlikely London literary salon that attracted most of the great writers and artists of the day. Her quips and anecdotes grew legendary, and she established herself as the quintessential poet of the Blitz. Regarded in her own time as a truly great poet, for the better part of forty years Sitwell’s work has been neglected by critics intimidated by her large gestures. This meticulously researched, groundbreaking and brilliant biography allows readers to grasp her poetry anew and to experience its humanity and its beauty, while at the same time turning much of what we have ever learned about modern British poetry on its head.