Interlude First: Bloomsbury and the Apostles
Bloomsbury is the name of an area in London with the British Museum located at its southern border. It contains a number of attractive, tree-filled squares. The oldest of these, Bloomsbury Square, was established in 1661. The others (Fitzroy, Bedford, Brunswick, Tavistock, Russell and Gordon Squares) date from the nineteenth century. From the end of the eighteenth century, this residential area was frequented by many of the greater figures in English literature and art. Bloomsbury gave its name to a set of artists, writers and intellectuals who lived mainly in this quarter during the first half of the twentieth century.1 This ensemble was not a structured organization or school of thought, but a group of friends (and lovers) who shared certain values and who profoundly marked British cultural life. Keynes was closely associated with it until the end of his life, as were many of his closest friends. It was his private world.2 The group’s centre consisted, apart from Keynes, of Vanessa and Clive Bell, Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Molly and Desmond MacCarthy, Adrian Stephen, Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant, Roger Fry, E.M. Forster and Saxon Sydney-Turner.3 Several others would, at varying distances, gradually attach themselves to this core group. Of course, as it was not a structured group, the delimitation of its borders varies according to commentators. Certain of the group’s founding members, such as Clive Bell, would deny its very existence. This attitude undoubtedly had something to do with the fact that, as early as the 1920s, Bloomsbury was...
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