ON DEMAND Bloomsbury at home: politics

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 a ticket with a link and login details. 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 be available on-demand until 14 March.

 

Week 4

Politics

‘As for politics, I feel we are all sitting downstairs while someone slowly dies’ (Virginia Woolf)

‘I believe in aristocracy… Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them.’ (EM Forster)

“I can’t, can’t, get clear about politics” (Julian Bell)

 

From pacifism to suffrage, right wing leanings to Marxist dabbling, we explore the role of politics in the lives, relationships and work of the Bloomsbury Group. To what extent were their bonds and choices influenced by the changing politics of their environment? What role did individuals play in instigating change? What conflicts arose as members adopted different responses to war and cultural transformation in Britain? We will look at the impact of two world wars, atheism and intellectual beliefs in the shaping of Bloomsbury thought and consider the particular impact of members such as Maynard Keynes at Bretton Woods, the Strachey women in the realm of gender politics, Julian Bell’s death in the Spanish Civil War and the infiltration of right wing thinking into Bohemian London.

 

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.

ON DEMAND Bloomsbury at home: love & sex

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 a ticket with your link and login details. Simply log in, and immerse yourself in literature, thoughts and ideas with our reader-in-residence Holly Dawson.

Sessions will also be available on-demand until 14th March. 

 

Week 3

Love & sex

“Suddenly the door opened and the long and sinister figure of Mr Lytton Strachey stood on the threshold. He pointed his finger at a stain on Vanessa’s white dress.

‘Semen?’ he said.
Can one really say it? I thought and we burst out laughing. With that one word all barriers of reticence and reserve went down. Sex permeated our conversation. The word bugger was never far from our lips.” (Virginia Woolf)

 

The Bloomsbury group famously ‘lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles’ – but the myths, gossip and headlines of their personal lives can distract us from the far richer and more nuanced ideas around love, sex and relationships that informed how they worked and lived. This session explores how the transgression of traditional relationship models went hand in hand with their pursuit of a new and radical aesthetic. Decades ahead of the social and moral codes of the day, the fluid nature of their relationships has resonance even today. We look at the overlapping and complicated relationships within Bloomsbury and explore what part romantic and carnal love played within them.

 

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.

ON DEMAND Bloomsbury at Home: home

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 a link and login details on your ticket.  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 until 14th March so you can watch whenever is most convenient for you. 

Week 2

Home

”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.

The Bloomsbury Look

What is the ‘Bloomsbury Look’? Charleston’s former curator Wendy Hitchmough reveals how the Bloomsbury group generated its avant-garde, self-fashioned aesthetic through art, photography and dress in her captivating new book.  (more…)