Something to Hide: The Life of Sheila Wingfield, Viscountess Powerscourt
‘A riveting portrait of a gifted poet – a contentious woman and the gilded worlds she moved in, yet never belonged to’ – Edna O’Brien
A fascinating portrait of a neglected poet and memoirist whose colourful and complicated life brought her into contact with some of the major literary figures of early twentieth-century Ireland. Sheila Wingfield (1906-1992), Anglo-Jewish heiress and ‘poetess wife’ of the last Powerscourt to live on that estate, did not fit easily into any of the worlds she inhabited. In conflict with her ancestry and her responsibilities as Viscountess Powerscourt, Sheila Wingfield struggled with the demons of alcohol, drugs, illness and conflicted relationships. Deeply private, she remained passionately committed to her writing – a committment that isolated her from those around her. A selection of her poetry features in an appendix.
Penny Perrick’s biography balances playful storytelling with serious analysis. Drawing on letters, memoirs, diaries and interviews, Something to Hide introduces a neglected poet whose life gives a new perspective to twentieth-century Ireland.
PENNY PERRICK was a fashion editor for Vogue, a columnist on The Sun and The Times and a fiction editor for The Sunday Times. She is also a novelist and now lives in the west of Ireland.