Bloomsbury group

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Bloomsbury group, name given to the literary group that made the Bloomsbury area of London the center of its activities from 1904 to World War II. It included Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, E. M. Forster, Vita Sackville-West, Roger Fry, Clive Bell, and John Maynard Keynes. The group began as a social clique: a few recent Cambridge graduates and their closest friends would assemble on Thursday nights for drinks and conversation. Its members were committed to a rejection of what they felt were the strictures and taboos of Victorianism on religious, artistic, social, and sexual matters. They remained a fairly tight-knit group for many years; recent biographers have detailed their tangled personal relations. By the 1920s Bloomsbury's reputation as a cultural circle was fully established to the extent that its mannerisms were parodied and Bloomsbury became a widely used term connoting an insular, snobbish aestheticism. Unique in the brilliance, variety, and output of its members, the group has remained the focus of widespread scholarly and popular interest.


See J. K. Johnstone, The Bloomsbury Group (1954); L. Woolf, Beginning Again (1964); Q. Bell, Bloomsbury (1969) and Bloomsbury Recalled (1996); S. P. Rosenbaum, The Bloomsbury Group (1975); A. Garnett, Deceived with Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood (1985); L. J. Markert, The Bloomsbury Group: A Reference Guide (1990).

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Bloomsbury Group Intellectuals who met in Bloomsbury, London, from c.1907. They included the art critics Roger Fry and Clive Bell; novelists E. M. Forster and Virginia Woolf; her husband Leonard Woolf, a publisher; economist John Maynard Keynes, and biographer Lytton Strachey. The group's attitudes were influenced by the empiricist philosopher G. E. Moore, and are encapsulated in his statement: “the rational ultimate end of human progress consists in the pleasures of human intercourse and the enjoyment of beautiful objects.”

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Bloomsbury Group. A circle of artists, writers, and critics meeting in private houses in Bloomsbury, London, who in their revolt against the artistic, social, and sexual restrictions of Victorian society were an important influence on cultural and intellectual life in the early decades of the 20th cent. Most had studied at Cambridge, and were influenced by the philosopher G. E. Moore, whose Principia ethica (1903) emphasized the importance of personal relationships and aesthetic experience. Among leading members were Clive and Vanessa Bell, E. M. Forster, Roger Fry, J. Maynard Keynes, and Virginia Woolf.

June Cochrane

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Bloomsbury Group a group of writers, artists, and philosophers living in or associated with Bloomsbury in the early 20th century. Members of the group, which included Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and Roger Fry, were known for their unconventional lifestyles and attitudes and were a powerful force in the growth of modernism.