I'm reading A Curious Friendship: The Story of a Bluestocking and a Bright Young Thing by Anna Thomasson at the moment and it's a real joy. Thomasson's first book is an account of the intense but platonic relationship between the artist Rex Whistler and writer Edith Olivier, set against a backdrop of the madcap parties of the 1920s.
Stephen Tennant, William Walton, Georgia Sitwell, Zita Jungman, Rex Whistler and Cecil Beaton, Wilsford, 1927.
A Curious Friendship is part dual biography, part social history, part study of the circles within which Olivier and Whistler moved, charting the ebb and flow of their relationship and their interconnected histories.
View of Daye House with Edith Olivier, Standing on the Lawn by Rex Whistler.
I was drawn to the tome (with its handsome pink and gold dust jacket) because I'm a big fan of Whistler's work, and getting to know his story has been utterly fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the description of Whistler's first impression of Stephen Tennant: 'a slender figure with extraordinary beauty, like a more delicate Shelley'. The boys shared a love of fairy tales, mythology and legends containing magic spells, as well as the romance of the English countryside. Oh how I wish I could travel back in time and discuss Pagan rituals and poetry with those two.
Rex photographed by Cecil Beaton on the rocks at Cap Ferrat, 1927.
Only halfway through, so back in I must dive! Do pick up a copy!