The Bright Young Things (20s and 30s)
I have always have a great interest about this people who created trends between the two world wars.
The Bright Young Things, or Bright Young People, was a nickname given by the tabloid press to a group of bohemian young aristocrats and socialites in 1920s London. They threw elaborate fancy dress parties, went on elaborate treasure hunts through nighttime London, drank heavily and experimented with drugs—all of which was enthusiastically covered by journalists such as Tom Driberg.They inspired a number of writers, including Nancy Mitford (Highland Fling), Anthony Powell (A Dance to the Music of Time), Henry Green (Party Going) and the poet John Betjeman (A Subaltern's Love Song). Evelyn Waugh's 1930 novel Vile Bodies, adapted as the 2003 film Bright Young Things, is a satirical look at this scene. Cecil Beaton began his career in photography by documenting this set, of which he was a member.
Impersonation Party, 1927: Among the revellers are Cecil Beaton (back left), Tallulah Bankhead (front right), Elizabeth Ponsonby (in black hat), and (front row left) Stephen Tennant as Queen Marie of Romania
List of BYT:Harold Acton
Zita Jungman (see Nico Wilhelm Jungmann)
Oliver MesselDiana Mitford
Brenda Dean Paul
Sylvia Townsend Warner
"The Bright Young Things" Book by D.J.Taylor
Zita Jungman, William Walton, Cecil Beaton, Stephen Tennant, Georgia Sitwell, Teresa Jungman, and Rex Whistler - 1927. (Source: Cecil Beaton Heritage via theyearzero.org).
"Homosexuality was as characteristic of the Bright Young People as a cloche hat, or an outsize party invitation. No English youth movement, it is safe to say, has ever contained such a high proportion of homosexuals or – in an age when these activities were still illegal – been so indulgent of their behaviour. There were several reasons for the irretrievable air of campness with which the average Bright Young entertainment of the 1920s was riotously invested, symbolised, perhaps, by the unwritten law of the Oxford Hypocrites Club that ‘Gentlemen may prance but not dance’. On the one hand the movement’s constituency extended deep into the bohemian sub-world in which homosexuality had immemorially flourished. On the other, most male Bright Young People were recruited from English public schools, where homosexuality, if not tolerated by vigilant head-masters, was endemically present among the pupils. Looking back on her teenage years, Jessica Mitford noted that ‘nearly every English boy I knew had a terrific exposure to homosexuality… Some stuck to it, some didn’t, but nobody paid much attention either way, as I recall" (from the book "Bright Young People, that 1920s/30s group of party loving extrover").
Diana and Nancy Mitford c 1935 (source: Myluciouslife.com)
|20s, 30s, bright, things, young|