Young Bloomsbury: the generation that reimagined love, freedom and self-expression

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Young Bloomsbury: the generation that reimagined love, freedom and self-expression

Young Bloomsbury: the generation that reimagined love, freedom and self-expression

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Quite enjoyed this brief group biography of the second Bloomsbury cohort, many of whom were integral parts of the later lives of the Woolfs, working at the Hogarth Press, making art, writing their own novels. Her focus isn’t on the Bloomsbury Group itself, instead she turns her gaze on the younger generations who became its avid fans and followers. They pushed boundaries, turned heads and sparked discourse aplenty - and most importantly, revelled in it. Group biographies are a difficult genre to pull off without a very clear central theme which enables the author to deal with chronological complexity and avoid repetition - Francesca Wade's Square Haunting is a good example of a successful group biography.

For each rising generation there’s reason to illuminate again their particular, if fleeting, triumphs.Great fun and, for all fans of the Bloomsbury Group, enormously informative - like being transported back to "dancing the night hours away underground in the pitch dark and smoke-filled avant-garde nightclubs of that day", you never know who you're going to meet. Nino Strachey's strength as a biographer is to draw sensitive and non-judgemental portraits of people whose private agonies seemed at odds with their outwardly confident appearance.

Just as the original Bloomsbury Set (including Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf) had formed and caused societal stirs from the very start of the 20th century with their spirited approach to life, literature and culture - by the time the 1920s rolled around, a new era was blossoming (blooming? I loved meeting all these individuals chronicled in more detail - and it was astounding to see how many parallels there were between this younger generation, and so many people I know and are friends with now, and the causes they advocate for. The central core of this book is the relationship between the two Bloomsbury generations: the way the elders created a space for acceptance, self-expression, and queerness that allowed the young generation to flourish, and in turn, the younger generation provided novelty and creativity and, y’know, their nubile twenty-something bodies for bonking.Any book in which the central cohort describe themselves as ‘very gay and amorous’ is going to be a winner for me tbh, and this was no exception. As someone fairly new to the Bloomsbury Group topic, this was a really interesting read for me as I didn’t know much about the original members of the group and knew virtually nothing about the second wave of members in the 1920's. I'd say that if you're new to reading about the Bloomsbury Group, this will be a good, if not innovative, introduction. It’s a whirlpool of connections that ends up feeling like a string of rather superficial potted biographies.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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