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Ada Leverson Letters from Sitwells, ca. 1920-1935

Overview of the Collection

Leverson, Ada
Ada Leverson Letters from Sitwells
ca. 1920-1935 (inclusive)
2 containers., (.25 linear feet of shelf space.), (167 items.)
Collection Number
Cage 4669
Postcards and letters from Edith, Osbert and Sacherevell Sitwell chiefly about literary matters and mutual friends. Includes one poem by Osbert Sitwell, "Aux Bords de la Mer." Most salutations are to "Sphinx."
Washington State University Libraries, Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

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.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

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.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.