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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

A Look At The Past: The Bloosmbury Set

There were a group of intellectuals hailing from three different colleges: Trinity College, Cambridge College and King's College. They used to hold meetings in the salon of a house located in Bloomsbury Square in Central London. They group shared a strong friendship.

London buildings
The Bohemian group comprising of intellectuals, artists and writers are known for their complex love relationships. Hence they were referred to as 'artistic lions' residing in squares but loving in triangles.

The group members lived without any constraints existing back in those days and were completely comfortable with each other's presence. They contributed to defining the British culture during the time of inter-war.

Out of the entire Bloomsbury set, only Clive Bell was the wealthy one. The others came from upper middle-class working families. Vanessa Bell, Virginia Wolf and M.Forster had their own sources of income while Roger Fry, Leonard Woolf, Lytton Strachey, the MacCarthys and Duncan grant had to go to work.

Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell were sisters, they had a younger brother named Adrian and an elder brother named Thoby. It is said that these four individuals were the original members of the Bloomsbury set. Duncant Grant, who became Bell's partner later and Lytton Strachey were cousins, which means that the group's relationship was an amalgamation of friendly, sexual, social, intellectual and blood relations. Legend has it that there were numerous affairs in the group. All the members had spent a significant part of their lives residing in London's West Central 1 district, which is called Bloomsbury.

Every male member of the group except for Duncan Grant studied at King's College or Trinity College. In the year 1899, four students of the Trinity College, Woolf, Strachey, Sydney Turner and Bell turned into best friends with a certain Thoby Stephen who later introduced the four to his two sisters. Thus, in this manner, the Bloomsbury set became to take shape.

Apart from the Stephen brothers and Clive Bell, all the others from Cambridge belonged to an exclusive society in Cambridge by the name of the Apostles. It was in this society that the men met Rogery Fry, DesmonMacCarthy, J.M. Keynes and E. M. Forster who all hailed from King's College.

Virginia Woolf, who is renowned for her books: To The Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway drowned herself in the year 1941 by stuffing stones to the pockets of her overcoat. After this tragic incident, Clive Bell, Virginia's brother-in-law wrote a letter to Partridge.He expressed uncertainty at whether partridge already knows about Virginia's death from The Times or not. He also mentioned that Virginia's footprints and stick were found close to the river. He wished that she was only missing and not dead because the loss is simply too much to bear.

The development of the group was greatly impacted on by the First World War even though none of the male members were in the war. Politically, some of the members were socialists while others were liberalists, this was evident from the works of Leonard Woolf and Maynard Keynes particularly. However, they were all unanimous as far as going against the government was concerned.

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