In 1904 Vanessa and Virginia Stephen (Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf) and their brothers moved from Kensington to the quieter district of Bloomsbury. Here they conceived ‘Bloomsbury’, a meeting place where very talented people gathered once a week to talk and discuss freely on all subjects. ‘Bloomsbury Women” by Jan Marsh is a fascinating journey the lives and loves of an extraordinary bunch of people.
“We were sexually very free and rather adventurous for those days”.
In 1904 Virginia Woolf and her brothers moved from Kensington to the quieter district of Bloomsbury. Here they conceived ‘Bloomsbury’, a meeting place where talented people gathered once a week to talk and discuss freely on all subjects.
Among these people there were Dora Carrington (painter), Vita Sackville-West (poet and novelist), Katherine Mansfield (writer), Frances Partridge (writer), Lytton Strachey (writer) and E.M. Forster (writer).
Bloomsbury Women by Jan Marsh covers 40 years of personal story of the Bloomsbury Group, from its beginnings in the early years of the twentieth century to the old age of its members – women and men.
The style is very colloquial and familiar, light but yet informative. It is like listening to a friend telling the story of the lives and loves of an extraordinary bunch of people. You can’t help but rejoicing in their successes and feeling sorry for their sorrows.
It is a fascinating and intriguing short reading. These people were so close to the Victorian Era and yet so visionary, so vibrantly modern. It is amazing how emancipated Bloomsbury women were for their time! It is surprising how freely they lived their sexual life, how self-conscious of their body they were.
I think this books might be a good introduction for anyone wants to know about the Bloomsbury Group. For sure, I would like to know more about an unusual group of people like this. Especially on Virginia Woolf and her sister, Vanessa. It is such a pity the book doesn’t say much about Virginia’s depression and suicide.
Have you read this book? Please, let me know if you liked it or not in the comments below. I’d love to know what you think about it! Same if there is any book you would like to suggest me to read!