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Free- thinkers












Words, though disparate, collectively sum up

The Bloomsbury Group

who they truly were and who they were perceived to be.

The Bloomsbury Group (Bloomsberries) was a small,

loosely knit community of artists, writers, intellectuals

who met periodically in the Bloomsbury district of central London

for camaraderie and discussion:

the sharing of  like ideas, philosophies and social agendas.

Starting around 1910, the group convened at a member’s home, a la salon gathering,

to stimulate and nurture their creative energy

through spirited discourse.

Topics ranged from women’s rights

to criticisms of English imperialism and everything else,

deemed worthy of innovation

was subject for their groupthink.

Theirs were the voices of challenge and change;

the chorus who railed against the status quo.

They shocked.

They provoked.

They irked.

They poked holes in the fabric of Edwardian sensibilities.

Their opinions were highly charged as were their sexual proclivities, which

were all duly recorded in the press.

Members were some of the leading literati of the period.

Counted among their numbers were:

Virginia Woolf …  one of the best known and admired writers of the 20th century

(image from biographieonlin.it)

Leonard Woolf … publisher and husband of Virginia Woolf

(image from britannica.com)

E. M Forster … author:  A Room with a View, Howard’s End, Passage to India

(image from babelio.com)

John Maynard Keynes … economist, father of Keynesian economic theories

(image from npg.org.uk)

Lytton Strachey … historian, biographer who incorporated psycho-analytical comment,

humour and wit into his writings

(image from art.com)

Wogan Philipps … artist, the only Communist ever to sit in the House of Lords

Rosamund Lehmann (c), Wogan Philipps (r)

(image from npgprints.com)

Clive Bell … art critic, husband of Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf’s sister)

(image from npg.org.uk)

Vanessa Bell … painter, sister of Virginia Woolf

(image from allposters.com)

Dora Carrington … painter, decorative artist

(image from fablog.elib.com)

Rosamond Lehmann … (first wife of Wogan Philipps)

novelist whose works were part autobiographical and dealt with

controversial subjects such as lesbianism and abortions

(image from kings.cam.ac.uk)

Frances Partridge … diarist, longest living member of the group;

she died in 2004, aged 104

They conducted their personal lives in bohemian fashion,

which exposed them as targets of  slander and ridicule.

Yet, theirs was a dream of an idealistic society;

one of tolerance, acceptance, evolution.

Their light shone bright during the 1920s,

faded by the end of the 1930s.

Yet, many of the social changes, which they championed

were eventually realised.

The continued influence of their literary, artistic

and pioneering accomplishments stand

testament to their collective genius.