Stephen Tennant

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Stephen James Napier Tennant (21 April 1906 – 28 February 1987) was a British aristocrat known for his decadent lifestyle. It is said, albeit apocryphally, that he spent most of his life in bed.

Early life

He was born in England, the youngest son of a Scots peer, Lord Glenconner, and the former Pamela Wyndham, one of the Wyndham sisters and of The Souls clique. His mother was also a cousin of Lord Alfred Douglas (1870–1945), Oscar Wilde's lover and a sonneteer. On his father's death, Tennant's mother married Lord Grey, a fellow bird-lover. Tennant's eldest brother was Edward - "Bim" - who was killed in the First World War.

Social set

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, 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...
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