Bloomsbury group

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Bloomsbury group,

name given to the literary group that made the Bloomsbury area of London the center of its activities from 1904 to World War II. It included Lytton StracheyStrachey, Lytton
(Giles Lytton Strachey), 1880–1932, English biographer and critic, educated at Cambridge. He was one of the leading members of the Bloomsbury group. Strachey is credited with having revolutionized the art of writing biography.
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, Virginia WoolfWoolf, Virginia (Stephen),
1882–1941, English novelist and essayist; daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen. A successful innovator in the form of the novel, she is considered a significant force in 20th-century fiction.
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, Leonard Woolf, E. M. ForsterForster, E. M.
(Edward Morgan Forster), 1879–1970, English author, one of the most important British novelists of the 20th cent. After graduating from Cambridge, Forster lived in Italy and Greece. During World War I he served with the International Red Cross in Egypt.
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, Vita Sackville-WestSackville-West, Vita
(Victoria Mary Sackville-West), 1892–1962, English writer; wife of Sir Harold Nicolson and granddaughter of the 2d Baron Sackville. Both she and Nicolson were members of the Bloomsbury group.
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, Roger FryFry, Roger Eliot,
1866–1934, English art critic and painter. A champion of modern French schools of art, he introduced Cézanne and the postimpressionists to England. From 1905 to 1910 he was curator of paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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, Clive BellBell, Clive,
1881–1964, English critic of art and literature. He was a member of the Bloomsbury group. His works include Art (1914), Since Cézanne (1922), Landmarks in Nineteenth-Century Painting (1927), and Proust (1929).
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, and John Maynard KeynesKeynes, John Maynard, Baron Keynes of Tilton
, 1883–1946, English economist and monetary expert, studied at Eton and Cambridge. Early Career and Critique of Versailles
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. The group began as a social clique: a few recent Cambridge graduates and their closest friends would assemble on Thursday nights for drinks and conversation. Its members were committed to a rejection of what they felt were the strictures and taboos of Victorianism on religious, artistic, social, and sexual matters. They remained a fairly tight-knit group for many years; recent biographers have detailed their tangled personal relations. By the 1920s Bloomsbury's reputation as a cultural circle was fully established to the extent that its mannerisms were parodied and Bloomsbury became a widely used term connoting an insular, snobbish aestheticism. Unique in the brilliance, variety, and output of its members, the group has remained the focus of widespread scholarly and popular interest.

Bibliography

See J. K. Johnstone, The Bloomsbury Group (1954); L. Woolf, Beginning Again (1964); Q. Bell, Bloomsbury (1969) and Bloomsbury Recalled (1996); S. P. Rosenbaum, The Bloomsbury Group (1975); A. Garnett, Deceived with Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood (1985); L. J. Markert, The Bloomsbury Group: A Reference Guide (1990).