The Bloomsbury group has long divided opinion. To some they are a privileged elite, unoriginal and self-absorbed. To others they are at the vanguard of modernism, decades ahead of the social, moral and artistic codes of the day. Leonard Woolf wrote that the Bloomsbury group were “A largely imaginary group of persons… with largely imaginary characteristics”. This series of talks strips back the layers of mythology surrounding the Bloomsbury group and goes back to source – to their books, essays, articles, letters and diaries. This is the Bloomsbury group in their own words.
How it works
You will be sent an email in advance of the talk with a link, login details and readings for on the day. Simply log in, settle down with your tea or coffee, and immerse yourself in literature, thoughts and ideas with our reader-in-residence Holly Dawson.
Sessions will also be available on-demand so you can watch whenever is most convenient for you.
”What cuts the deepest channels in our lives are the different houses in which we live.” Leonard Woolf
The Bloomsbury group challenged conventional notions of what a home should be, who lived in it and how. Rejecting the high Victorian domesticity that shaped them so profoundly, they reimagined home as a space where the boundaries between art and life dissolved and traditional roles became fluid. Join us as we peer through the keyholes of various Bloomsbury Group homes – from the Stephens’ family home at Hyde Park Gate, to various homes in London squares and Lady Ottoline Morrell’s Garsington retreat. We will explore Charleston through the eyes of Angelica Garnett, returning home in later life in her powerful memoir, and watch some rare footage of life at Tidmarsh, Carrington and Lytton’s home. What kind of places did the Bloomsbury group call home? What did ‘home’ mean and how did their ambitions for a new way of living influence that? What did everyday domestic life look like?
Angelica Garnett (far left) with Duncan Grant, Virginia Woolf and Lydia Lopokova having a tea party in the Charleston garden in the 1930s. Photo © The Charleston Trust.