THE STARLIGHT YEARS
Edited by Joscelyn Godwin
This is the story of how two artists fell in love with each other, with Kelmscott Manor, and with William Morris, the poet, craftsman, and socialist who had made it his home. As Kelmscott’s first tenants afer the Morris family, Edward and Stephani Scott-Snell rented the historic Oxfordshire house throughout the Second World War. There they created an aesthetic and erotic paradise based on a fantasy land called ‘Thessyros’, and produced a body of figurative painting unique for its time. Much of this was done under the influence of a legally-obtained drug they called ‘Starlight’, making many of their paintings early examples of psychedelic art.
Neither their tenancy of Kelmscott nor their relationship was smooth, and sometimes the war most real to them was their own. What makes The Starlight Years more than just a period memoir is its remarkable honesty. The realities of the Second World War rarely intrude, giving their story an unusual intimacy. The ebb and flow of their relationship is mirrored in their letters and journals, which they wrote consciously as literary art, and have now been selected and explained by their younger son, Joscelyn Godwin.
Large format sewn paperback with flaps
192 pages + 32 pages colour plates