Renishaw Hall: The Story of the Sitwells

  • England, 2015 (Elliott & Thompson)


This is the story of a beautiful old house and of the family who have lived there for centuries. Home to Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell, its owners have always been colourful, including a Cavalier and a Regency Buck who hunted a tiger with his hounds. The creator of today’s Renishaw was Sir George who added the wonderful gardens, bought Italian furniture and pictures, and had Sargent paint his family, but was unfairly belittled in his son Osbert’s autobiography. Osbert made it a magnet for writers like Evelyn Waugh, inviting John Piper to immortalise it. Recent restoration has revealed the spell that made Rex Whistler call Renishaw ‘the most exciting house in England.’

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Reviews of: Renishaw Hall: The Story of the Sitwells

  • This entertaining and elegant book … Historian Desmond Seward seamlessly links the history of this out-of-the-ordinary house to that of the family who built and continue to live in it.

    Daily Mail
  • This balanced and beautifully written book … an unexpected thing; original and full of new information as well as a delightful read.

    Country Life
  • A revisionist history of those birds of brilliant plumage, the Sitwells … Many books these days are too long and this is one of those rare works that left me wanting to read more. Seward is an excellent and very readable writer.

    Literary Review
  • Desmond Seward’s rambunctious history of the Sitwell dynasty.

    The Times
  • Snobbery, artistic pretension and extravagance, an aristocratic family’s unedifying story.

    Sunday Times