IM Birtwistle Obituary: The Guardian

IM Birtwistle was my aunt. We knew her as Lilla, but she had been christened Iris and apparently hated the name. She preferred to be known instead as IM Birtwistle or simply IMB. I’ve included the following biography by Peter Stanford from The Guardian on Friday 23rd June, 2006. She also had obituaries in The Times and The Independent, although not The Telegraph which would probably have been her preference.

IM Birtwistle

Perceptive and demanding poet and gallery owner whose aesthetic gave her a cult status in the British art world

The gallery owner and lyric poet IM Birtwistle, who has died aged 88, was never that keen on you delving into her past. Names would occasionally crop up in conversation – dancing with Clark Gable (who apparently had bad breath), holidaying with Robert Graves on Majorca, debating religion with Muriel Spark – but just when you wanted more detail, she would sidestep your questions. “The box is so much more interesting than the contents,” she would say with a laugh, and return to the present and the future.

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Ernest Francis Fitzherbert Wright (1919–2007)

Ernest Francis Fitzherbert Wright was my great uncle and was always called Francis , possibly because his father was called Ernest (FitzHerbert Wright), and possibly because he didn’t like the name Ernest despite being fond of his father. He died in 2007, and is much missed by our family. I’ve included the tribute made by my elder brother at his Funeral Service at Chelsea Old Church in October 2007. There was also a Memorial Service at the parish church in Ebbesborne Wake, Wiltshire (where his ashes were interred with those of his wife, Betty). Continue reading