Salisbury Greats: Edith Olivier
Edith Olivier was born in Wilton in 1872 and throughout her life was embedded in the local community: during the First World War, she helped set up the Women’s Land Army in Wiltshire, for which she was awarded an MBE. Later, she became the first woman elected onto Wilton Town Council and was its mayor at outbreak of World War Two.
But Edith Olivier was also an important literary figure, publishing a string of novels and works of non-fiction in the 1920s and 1930s. She was part of an artistic social set that included Cecil Beaton, Edith Sitwell, Siegfried Sassoon and a young Rex Whistler, with whom she had a profound relationship.
Biographer Anna Thomasson is the author of A Curious Friendship, a critically-acclaimed account of Olivier and Whistler’s friendship. She will be in discussion with festival director Tom Bromley to talk about Olivier’s life and work in the beautiful setting of Arundells.
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