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11 People in sitter grouping: Auden group

In the 1930s, Britain was in a period of social crisis, with the after effects of The Great War still felt and another world war looking likely. The working classes were dissatisfied with what they saw as a ruling bourgeois society and a series of failed social reforms. This time of crisis brought with it a new trend for collective identities, and the Auden Group, predominantly a journalistic tool (evident since 1936), was one of these. Also known as Thirties Poets, the group which centred around Auden and Isherwood represented a new, more experimental literary style. The Auden Group, in fact never worked together as a whole, and were connected together mainly by their similar ages, Oxbridge education, Socialist leanings social feelings, and embarrassment about their own middle class origins. The term continues to be used to categorise a wide range of cultural output from the 1930s, including literature, theatre, music and art.

W.H. Auden

1907-1973
Poet
Sitter in 43 portraits

Benjamin Britten

1913-1976
Composer
Sitter in 117 portraits | Artist of 5 portraits

Sir William Menzies Coldstream

1908-1987
Painter
Sitter in 16 portraits

Cecil Day-Lewis

1904-1972
Poet Laureate
Sitter in 54 portraits

Geoffrey Edward Harvey Grigson

1905-1985
Poet, critic and anthologist
Sitter in 2 portraits

Christopher Isherwood

1904-1986
Novelist
Sitter in 29 portraits

(Rudolph) John Frederick Lehmann

1907-1987
Writer, critic and literary editor
Sitter in 16 portraits

(Frederick) Louis MacNeice

1907-1963
Poet
Sitter in 13 portraits

(Charles) Robert Owen Medley

1905-1994
Painter
Sitter in 4 portraits

Sir Stephen Harold Spender

1909-1995
Poet and critic
Sitter associated with 52 portraits

Edward Upward

1903-2009
Novelist
Sitter in 9 portraits