Acton, Harold

BORN 5 Jul 1904, Galluzzo, Toscana: Villa La Pietra (near Firenze) - DIED 27 Feb 1994, Galluzzo, Toscana: Villa La Pietra (near Firenze)
GRAVE LOCATION Firenze, Toscana: Cimitero Evangelico Agli Allori, Via Senese 184, Galluzo (6PPsFLOGI 43s)

Son of the art collector and dealer Arthur Acton (1873-1953) and Hirtense Mitchell, the heiress to a family of bankers from Chicago. His parents lived in the Villa La Pietra near Florence. He was privately educated in Florence and then sent to England. During the First World War he went to school in Geneva before he entered Eton in 1918. In 1923 he went to Oxford University where he was one of the founders of The Oxford Broom magazine. Also in 1923 his first volume of poems was published titled "Aquarium" (1923).

He was openly gay and admired Evelyn Waugh at his time in Oxford. Waugh dedicated his first novel "Decline and Fall" to him and most probably inspired the character of Anthon Blanche in "Brideshead Revisited" on him.

During the late 1920s he was a frequent visitor to Lady Cunard's salon, where he met Ezra Pound and George Moore. In Florence he befriended Norman Douglas. He wrote novels, short stories and more poetry. In 1974 he became a Commander of the British Empire.

He was openly gat and during the last 25 hears of his life he lived with the German photographer Alexander Zielcke. He died at the Villa La Pietra and left it to New Yok University, together with his fortune of 500 million dollars.

Related persons
• knew Brooks, Romaine


The grave of Harold Acton at the Cimitero Evangelico Agli Allori, Florence.
Picture by androom (04 Feb 2011)


Wikipedia (EN):

Adam, Adolphe-Charles

Published: 07 Oct 2016
Last update: 08 Mar 2022