• S. P. Rosenbaum


The Georgian years of Old Bloomsbury were not the time of placid, leisured innocence that the years leading up to the First World War are sometimes seen to be. In addition to the crises in their personal relations that Roger Fry, the Bells, the MacCarthys, and the Woolfs endured, the careers of Bloomsbury’s writers also went through crucial changes. Fry became the articulate apostle of post-impressionism in England, which Clive Bell popu-larised and polemicised in Art. E. M. Forster entered a period of sterility and uncertainty following the great success of Howards End, his fourth novel in five years; he began but could not complete three books, and the one he managed to finish could not be published. Lytton Strachey finally wrote a book, an introduction to French literature that is his least read work and was beginning to be write ironic biographical essays while still trying to be a dramatist. Desmond MacCarthy continued postponing the brilliant novel or biography that his friends were convinced he could write, and finally obtained a secure position as a literary journalist. Virginia Woolf at last completed her remarkable first novel, which she had been writing for seven years, although its publication was delayed two more because of her break-down. And Leonard Woolf, after the success of his novel on Ceylon, pro-duced a book whose reception persuaded him to abandon novels altogether and devote himself to reviewing and political journalism.


Literary History Conscientious Objection Secure Position French Literature British Imperialism 
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© S. P. Rosenbaum 2003

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