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Posts Tagged ‘Bloomsbury Group’

The Cambridge Companion to Bloomsbury, edited by Victoria Rosner, is now out.  It’s available inCambridge Comp to BG paperback.

According to the Cambridge website, the volume:

  • Provides the only general introduction to the Bloomsbury Group in print
  • Offers a radically new interpretation of Bloomsbury, with an emphasis on politics, both international and sexual
  • Brings together many of the major scholars of the Bloomsbury Group

You can also find a list of the essays included in the volume on the site. Contributors include Molly Pulda, Victoria Rosner, Katy Mullin, Ann Banfield, Morag Shiach, Christopher Reed, Christine Froula, Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, Mary Ann Caws, Helen Southworth, Laura Marcus, Vesna Goldsworthy, Brenda R. Silver and Regina Marler.

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The three-part BBC2 series, “Life in Squares” now in production, will explore the lives of the Bloomsbury Group. It takes its Life in Squaresname from the Dorothy Parker quote, ““lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles.”

It is billed as an “intimate and emotional” drama spanning the first half of the 20th century. Chief among the drama will be the lives and loves of Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell. Lydia Leonard and Phoebe Fox play Woolf and Bell in their younger years as they escape Victorian conformity in Kensington with their move to Bloomsbury.

The series is being filmed in London and at Charleston Farmhouse, Vanessa’s home known as “Bloomsbury in the country.”

Life In Squares tells the story of the Bloomsbury group over 40 years, from the death of Queen Victoria to the Second World War, as they attempted to forge a life free from the constraints of the past. Their pursuit of freedom and beauty was always passionate, often impossible and ultimately devastating, yet their legacy is still felt today. – BBC

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Gloomsbury, a series on the BBC’s Radio 4, is a spoof of the Bloomsbury Group that follows the fortunes ofGloomsbury Vera Sackcloth-Vest, a writer, gardener and transvestite.

Its second season, which will air later this month, features the last performances of the late actor Roger Lloyd Pack who died nearly two months ago of pancreatic cancer. He plays the amorous gardener Gosling and long-suffering husband Lionel Fox.

 

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BloomsburyCookbook_title_26523A Bloomsbury cookbook promising a combination of food, life, love and art, will be available in hardcover on April 22.

The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art by Jans Ondaatje Rolls offers more than 180 recipes — some handwritten and never before published — from Frances Partridge, Helen Anrep and David and Angelica Garnett. The recipes, according to publisher Thames & Hudson, promise to “take us into the very heart” the world of the Bloomsbury Group by recreating mealtime atmospheres at locations such as Monk’s House, Charleston Farmhouse and Gordon Square.

The publisher is billing the book as more than a cookbook. Its photographs, letters, journals and paintings will contribute a social history angle as well. It is priced at £24.95.

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The Bloomsbury Group’s Memoir Club met around 60 times over the course of 45 years. During that time, 9781137360366_largethe group read about 125 memoirs, and around 80 of those have survived, a quarter of them unpublished. The Bloomsbury Group Memoir Club by the late S.P. Rosenbaum shares these details and sketches a history of the club, along with its impact on the work of its participants.

Rosenbaum, a leading scholar of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group,  left more than five completed chapters of the volume before he died in the spring of 2012. In them, he explains the origins of the club, details its original members and their contributions, and explores the impact of club meetings on the members’ individual work. He also links the authors and their writing with the politics and history of the early 20th century.

Chapter one in the volume introduces the Memoir Club, talks about its meeting schedule, and discusses the meaning of the term “memoir.” More significantly, it explores the significance of World War I on its members and their work, even though no one in the club was a combatant. Rosenbaum details the war-related writing of members that were relevant to their later memoirs — from Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians to Maynard Keynes’ The Economic Consequences of the Peace.

In chapter two, Rosenbaum explains the literary and discursive traditions that shaped the formation of the club after the Great War had dispersed the Bloomsbury friends. These range from the life-writing of their English tradition, such as Ruskin and Gosse to the life-writing of family members, such as Leslie Stephen and Edward Fry.

Membership in the club was exclusive and began with a personal invitation, according to chapter three, titled “Beginnings.” All 25 members were either related in some way or were undergraduate friends of the Cambridge Apostles. Membership changed over time, from Old Bloomsbury before World War I to Later Bloomsbury from the 1920s through the 1930s. This chapter also details the memoirs shared by its members, describes the reactions of listeners, and ties them to the members’ work.

Chapter four, “Private and Public Affairs: 1921-1922,” covers Clive Bell’s, Maynard Keynes’,  E.M. Forster’s and Strachey’s memoirs, which dealt with the recent present and moved from impersonal childhood memories to “intimately private or controversially public affairs.” This chapter summarizes the memoirs and describes the reaction of club members to them. It also discusses the readings done by Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, which Leonard Woolf described as “‘a fantastic narrative of a labyrinthine domestic crisis’.”

The last complete chapter written by Rosenbaum documents the club’s hiatus — from 1922 to 1927 — during which time The Charleston Bulletin was published. The family newspaper founded by Woolf’s nephews, Quentin and Julian Bell, included memoir writing of its own — a life of Vanessa Bell written by Woolf, anecdotes about Duncan Grant, the life of Clive Bell, and the life and adventures of the Keynes.

Rosenbaum’s work, published by Palgrave Macmillan this month, stops just before Woolf’s reading of “Old Bloomsbury,” meaning that some of Woolf’s and other members’ most significant work was yet to come. As editor James M. Haule notes in his Introduction, the task of finishing the volume “now falls on us.”

Read a review in The Independent.

 

 

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A couple of Woolf hunters have offered a recently discovered painting by Roger Fry for sale.

Scene

A newly discovered landscape by Roger Fry (circa 1913-1919) is now being offered for sale by Jon S. Richardson Rare Books.

Known as “Scene,” this untitled impressionist rendering of a farmhouse alongside a river was discovered to be a work of Fry when the painting was cleaned and repaired by a professional art restoration firm, according to an email the seller, Jon S Richardson Rare Books of Concord, Mass., sent Blogging Woolf.

About the Fry painting

The oil on canvas measures 20 inches by 24 inches, is circa 1913 to 1919 and has an original label from the Omega Workshops, 33 Fitzroy Square, on its reverse side. Dominant colors, which are mainly subdued, are green with brown-orange and blue-grey clouds. Fry’s signature appears in the lower left corner.

Research done by Richardson Rare Books includes the following facts to help date and locate the painting:

  • in 1916 Roger Fry was writing Vanessa Bell that he had returned to landscapes free of “the impressionism you infected me with.” (RF Letters #381- Spalding, Roger Fry .., p. 186)
  • In May, 1916, Fry was at Bo Peep Farm in Alciston (now a B&B near Berwick) painting landscapes (RF Letters #378), evidence that the painting is a Sussex scene and quite possibly a farmstead along the Cuckmere River.

About the painting’s history

The painting’s acquisition by the rare books company led it “to the informed speculation that the painting was one sold in New York City by Sunwise Turn, the Manhattan bookshop which dealt in Omega goods,” according to Richardson.

“While originally Sunwise was thought to deal in textiles only, from a photograph we handled several years ago advertising an Omega screen, it is clear they dealt in other Omega goods as well; any purchaser from Sunwise would have encountered the 1929 stock market crash followed by the Great Depression which no doubt caused the painting to be dispersed into the used goods market and lost in obscurity,” Richardson wrote.

“The signature, even on cleaning, is only visible with sharp light tightly focused, thus it does not show in a photograph with general flash nor upon routine visible inspection. Only upon cleaning did the signature achieve any visibility. Any Roger Fry oil painting from the Omega Period is rare and, with the Omega provenance, this is perhaps unique.”

About the Woolf hunters

According to “Woolf Hunters,” a 2010 article in the Harvard Magazine, Richardson founders Jon and harbor books screenshotMargaret Richardson have made hunting down the works of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group their mission since opening York Harbor Books in Maine more than 20 years ago.

Their focus has been successful, Jon Richardson explains in the article, “because Woolf and her companions are `still taught, still collected, and many of the people who study the group end up as collectors.’” So successful that the shop publishes a major printed catalog each summer.

To contact Jon S. Richardson Rare Books, email Yorkharborbooks@aol.com.

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Readers of Virginia Woolf and fans of Downton Abbey have a double treat in store for them when the new season of the PBS Masterpiece series begins. Woolf will make a cameo appearance on the show.DOWNTON-WOOLFE_2668530c-1

Christina Carty, who starred in Belonging to Laura and The Vessel, will play the part.

Speculation is that middle sister Edith will draw the famous author into the story in her role as budding journalist. While venturing into a “bohemian lifestyle” and experiencing the “thrill of rebellion,” Edith will encounter Woolf at a glamorous house party with her Bloomsbury friends.

Woolf’s appearance will mark just the second time the series has included an actual historical character. The other is the appearance of Dame Nellie Melba, an Australian opera singer, played by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa this season.

Inserting Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group into the storyline helps the show focus on the culture of the 1920s, which is creator Julian Fellowes‘ goal.

As he told the London Telegraph: “The fourth [season] is more about getting into the ’20s: what young people wanted, the changes in music, the arrival of the movies, cars, transport and all of that stuff.”

Season four of Downton premieres Sept. 22 in the UK and Jan. 5, 2014, in the U.S. The storyline picks up four months after end of season three. And producers are promising no more deaths!

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