Born: April 21, 1906, Wilsford cum Lake, United Kingdom
Died: February 28, 1987, Wilsford cum Lake, United Kingdom
Lived: Wilsford Manor, Wilsford cum Lake, Amesbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 7BL, UK (51.15668, -1.80983)
Find A Grave Memorial# 161194839
Parents: Edward Tennant, 1st Baron Glenconner
Partner: Siegfried Sassoon
Books: Blaydar's Children, Dark Winter Riders, Leaves from a Missionary's Notebook
Grandparent: Sir Charles Tennant, 1st Baronet
Stephen Tennant was a British aristocrat known for his decadent lifestyle. It is said, albeit apocryphally, that he spent most of his life in bed. During the 20s and 30s, Tennant was an important member - the "Brightest", it is said - of the "Bright Young People." His friends included Rex Whistler, Cecil Beaton, the Sitwells (Dame Edith Sitwell and Sir Osbert Sitwell), Lady Diana Manners and the Mitford girls – part of the set that made the Nordstrom Sisters popular at The Ritz in 1939. He is widely considered to be the model for Cedric Hampton in Nancy Mitford's novel Love in a Cold Climate; one of the inspirations for Lord Sebastian Flyte in Waugh's Brideshead Revisited and a model for Hon. Miles Malpractice in some of his other novels. Stephen Tennant had a sexual affair with the poet Siegfried Sassoon. His relationship with Sassoon was to be his most important: it lasted some four years before Tennant off-handedly put an abrupt end to it. Sassoon was reportedly depressed afterwards for three months, until he married in 1933 and became a father in 1936. Siegfried Sassoon died one week before his 81st birthday in 1967. When Tennant died in 1987, he had far outlived most of his contemporaries.
Together from 1929 to 1933: 4 years.
Siegfried Loraine Sassoon (September 8, 1886 – September 1, 1967)
Stephen James Napier Tennant (April 21, 1906 – February 28, 1987)
Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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House: For most of his life, Stephen Tennant tried to start or finish a novel – “Lascar: A Story You Must Forget.” It is popularly believed that he spent the last 17 years of his life in bed at his family manor at Wilsford cum Lake, Wiltshire, which he had redecorated by Syrie Maugham.
Address: Wilsford cum Lake, Amesbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 7BL, UK (51.15668, -1.80983)
Phone: +44 1980 676 109
Built at the beginning of the XX century, Design by Detmar Blow (1867-1939)
The two principle houses in the parish are Wilsford Manor and Lake House, with both manors likely referenced in the Domesday book; held by Hamon de Masci of Hugh de Avranches, assumed to be Lake, and other by Hugh of Robert fitz Gerold, Wilsford. Wilsford Manor house was built on the site of an older house. Detmar Blow had previously worked on the Lake House restoration, as a reproduction XVII century manor house with stone mullioned windows, and stone and flint chequer-work walls. Before 1247 the Verdun family held the manor of Wilsford, who maintained a taper continually burning at the high altar of Salisbury Cathedral. It continued in the hands of the Verdun family, through service of ¼ knight’s fee, rental from the Bishop of Salisbury, and again by the service of maintaining a candle. After 1426-8, when it was still held of the Bishop but by unknown means, the overlordship ends. Upon the death of Theobald in 1316, the manor was held by his widow, Elizabeth de Burgh, after which it was transferred to Thomas de Furnival, son of one of Theobald’s female heirs. Through marriage the manor came to Thomas de Neville, later Lord Furnival. Their daughter, Maud, married John Talbot, Lord Furnival and later Earl of Shrewsbury. The manor then descended with the Talbot earldom of Shrewsbury throughout the XV and XVI centuries. In 1766 the manor was sold to John Pinkney, who along with his successor owned other holdings in the parish, and united the remaining freeholds from the manor. By 1846 the manor was in the hands of Giles Loder until it was subsequently acquired by Arthur Newall in 1890. From the early XX century the estate was leased to Sir Edward Priaulx Tennant, who bought the estate after becoming Lord Glenconner in 1911. He also united the manors of Lake and Wilsford in 1918. Glenconner’s widow married Viscount of Falloden (Foreign Secretary during WWI) who lived there until his wife died in 1928. The Tennant family maintained the manor house, and in 1932 it was occupied by the Hon. David Tennant and his wife, actress Hermione Baddeley (younger sister of Angela Baddeley, who married Glen Byam Shaw, former lover of Siegfried Sassoon, before Sassoon met Stephen Tennant), and subsequently by the Hon. Stephen Tennant, famous for his decadent lifestyle and association with, amongst others, Greta Garbo, Cecil Beaton, E.M. Foster, Virginia Woolf and Siegfried Sassoon. The Nobel Peace Prize for Literature winner V.S. Naipaul lived in a cottage in the grounds of Wilsford Manor during Stephen Tennant’s ownership. The author spent time walking around Springbottom while staying at Wilsford Manor, and much of his 1987, primarily autobiographical, “Enigma of Arrival” is set in the Wiltshire landscape.
Who: Stephen James Napier Tennant (April 21, 1906 – February 28, 1987)
Stephen Tennant was a British socialite known for his decadent lifestyle. During the 1920s and 1930s, Tennant was an important member – the "Brightest,” it is said – of the "Bright Young People." His friends included Rex Whistler, Cecil Beaton, the Sitwells, Lady Diana Manners and the Mitford girls. He is widely considered to be the model for Cedric Hampton in Nancy Mitford’s novel “Love in a Cold Climate,” one of the inspirations for Lord Sebastian Flyte in Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited,” and a model for the Hon. Miles Malpractice in some of Waugh’s other novels. During the 1920s and 1930s, Tennant had a sexual affair with the poet Siegfried Sassoon. Prior to this, he had proposed to a friend, Elizabeth Lowndes, but had been rejected (Philip Hoare relates how Tennant discussed plans with Lowndes about bringing his nanny with them on their honeymoon.) His relationship with Sassoon, however, was to be his most important: it lasted some four years before Tennant off-handedly put an abrupt end to it. Sassoon was reportedly depressed afterwards for three months, until Sassoon married in 1933 and became a father in 1936. When Tennant died in 1987, he had far outlived most of his contemporaries. The contents of Wilsford Manor were sold by Sotheby’s raising some £1.6 million.
Queer Places, Vol. 2 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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