Inspiration: Stephen Tenant
Considered to be the Brightest Young Person on the planet, Stephen Tenant was born to aristocratic family on both sides. His destiny was to become a great personality of his generation and to create the next great social group of England elite. His mother, Pamela Wyndham, along with her sister and 3 brothers were key figures of "The Souls" social group which was founded around 1855. The group flourished during the Victorian period and the 5 siblings joined during the later half of the group existence. Pamela would be a great inspiration for Stephen and his siblings, as children and in adulthood. Stephen himself would help a newly formed Bright Young People to be elevated to a iconic celebrity status.
Stephen Tenant was know to be exaggerated and decadent but more importantly the life of any friendship. He lit up the party scene in London during the roaring 20’s. And was known to throw one heck of party for the Bright Young People. In his early 20’s he also became a well known artist within the aristocracy and began writing poetry. Sadly with his social and celebrity success in London, Tennant would let his work fall to the waist side. Sadly historians would paint Tennant’s offering to history as dismal and lacking.
Tenant was not shy to share his sexuality within the social circles he inhabited. Early writings about his love life painted him as a philanderer but close friends like Cecil Beaton, Diana Mitford and his brother spoke otherwise. History and depiction by friends in their novels has shown Tennant to be more of a hopeless romantic. Tennant had a handful of relationships but also was hopelessly in love with men who were heterosexual.
The most well documented relationship was with author Siegfried Sassoon which lasted several years from the late 20’s into the early 30’s, shortly before Sassoon married woman and had only one child. In comparison, one could say Sassoon was the one who tended to get around. Rumor has it that Tennant actually left Sassoon because he was having an affair with another man. This love affair and several others became foundation to several literary characters created by Tennant’s other Bright Young Friends. Evelyn Waugh noted that Sebastian Flyte was inspired by Tennant's premature behavior and lifestyle. Diana Mitford took his relationship with the Sassoon and even aired Sassoon ferocious appetite for sex.
When WWII hit England, Tennant retreated to the country until his home was taken over by the Red-Cross. After the war Tennant was lost and focused his energy in restoring his home in Wilsford cum Lake near Salisbury along with the surrounding village. Which coincidentally was the filming location of my all time British TV shows, Vicar of Dibley. While many joke about his becoming a shut in for the rest of his life, which have been proven to be false but Vicar of Dibley is a lovely testament to his creative eye for restoration.