The Bloomsbury Group: Background information when reading Vanessa and Her Sister

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Vanessa and Her Sister

by Priya Parmar

Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar X
Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 2014, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2015, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

The Bloomsbury Group

This article relates to Vanessa and Her Sister

Print Review

While Vanessa And Her Sister focuses on artist Vanessa Bell and her writer sister, Virginia Woolf, it also places them in the larger context of the famous Bloomsbury Group, which was a set of intellectuals who debated radical ideas about society, ethics and a host of other issues. Founding members included Virginia Woolf and her siblings - sister, Vanessa Bell, and brothers Thoby and Adrian. Other key members included critic and biographer Giles Lytton Strachey, and the writer E.M. Forster. Even noted economist Joseph Maynard Keynes was a central figure. While the group became friends in college (most of the "Bloomsberries" men studied at Cambridge's Trinity or King's College), it was not until Virginia and her siblings moved into a home in Gordon Square in the Bloomsbury District of London (close to the British Museum), that the group coalesced into an entity, regularly meeting over dinners to discuss ideas.

Some Members of the Bloomsbury Group The Bloomsberries got their start around the beginning of the twentieth century, a time when Victorian principles of life largely held sway over England. They rejected these ideals and believed in more progressive values such as acceptance of homosexuality and open marriages. Their unconventional values brought admirers as well as critics. They were often accused of being snobbish and elitist with no self-control.

Despite the brickbats, the Bloomsbury Group's contributions to literature and the larger thought movement remain undisputed. Their anti-establishmentarianism, as reflected by their work (Woolf became a prominent feminist icon and E. M. Forster wrote about the ills of imperialism, for example), paved the way for a new way of challenging established conventions. The group disbanded in the 1930s after the sudden death of a few members.

Full list of members:

  1. Woolf, Virginia (1882-1941)
  2. Forster, E. M. (1879-1970)
  3. Strachey, Giles Lytton (1880-1932)
  4. Bell, Clive (1881-1964)
  5. Keynes, John Maynard (1883-1946)
  6. Fry, Roger (1866-1934)
  7. Grant, Duncan (1885-1978)
  8. MacCarthy, Desmond (1877-1952)
  9. Bell, Vanessa Stephen (1879-1961)
  10. Woolf, Leonard (1880-1969)
  11. MacCarthy, Mary (1882-1953)
  12. Stephen, Thoby (1880-1906)
  13. Stephen, Adrian (1883-1948)
  14. Carrington, Dora (1893-1932)
  15. Sydney-Turney, Saxon (1880-1962)

Left to right: Lady Ottoline Morrell, Maria Nys (neither members of Bloomsbury), Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant, and Vanessa Bell from book Lytton Strachey: His Mind And Art

This "beyond the book article" relates to Vanessa and Her Sister. It originally ran in January 2015 and has been updated for the October 2015 paperback edition.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Trust Exercise
    Trust Exercise
    by Susan Choi
    At face value, Susan Choi's latest release, Trust Exercise, appears to be a familiar story. ...
  • Book Jacket: An American Summer
    An American Summer
    by Alex Kotlowitz
    As a Chicagoan, I've become used to the most common reactions when I'm traveling and tell someone ...
  • Book Jacket: The Sun Is a Compass
    The Sun Is a Compass
    by Caroline Van Hemert
    Caroline Van Hemert fell in love with her future husband, Pat, in 2001, discovering they shared a ...
  • Book Jacket: Women Talking
    Women Talking
    by Miriam Toews
    Miriam Toews' Women Talking is a circadian novel, unfolding over a span of just a few hours and ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Courting Mr. Lincoln
    by Louis Bayard

    A master storyteller at the height of his powers, delivers a page-turning tale of love, longing, and forbidden possibilities.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    When We Left Cuba
    by Chanel Cleeton

    An exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones

A masterpiece of storytelling, and a 2018 Oprah's Book Club Selection.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win Women Rowing North

The instant New York Times bestseller

A guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A B Penny A T U

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.