Ada Leverson, 1859-1936, was an English novelist who belonged to London's world of wealth and fashion. Her six novels were published between 1907 and 1916; they belong to Edwardian era.
She married early, becoming Mrs. Ernest Leverson. She had a son who died when a small boy. Her one daughter, Violet, married Guy Windham and has written a biography of her mother, The Sphinx and Her Circle.
She was a friend of the artists and writers of her time from Oscar Wilde to the Sitwells. It was Wilde who gave her the nickname "Sphinx". This is the title of one of Oscar Wilde's poems, "The Sphinx", that Ada parodied. From then on Oscar always called her "Sphinx", and the name stuck.
In her later years, she spent time abroad, particularly in Italy, where she passed the time in the company of the Sitwells. By this time, she had grown distressingly deaf.
In 1935 while returning to London from Florence, she was struck down by illness. She died in 1936 at the age of 71.
Postcards and letters (some with envelopes) from the Sitwells, primarily Edith and Osbert, about literary matters and mutual friends and enemies. Most of the letters are addressed to "Sphinx", a nickname given to Ada Leverson by Oscar Wilde. Also includes one clipping of a poem by Osbert Sitwell, Aux Bords de la Mar.
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.