Ellmann on Bloomsbury

Lucy Ellmann (Man or Mango?, excerpted here) opens a review of Lytton Strachey’s letters by observing that, Virginia Woolf aside, the Bloomsbury crowd didn’t “accomplish[] anything much,” unless you count screwing and sitting on the floor. And Strachey, she says:

was perhaps the greatest time waster of the bunch. Reading these letters, you become increasingly astonished — and alarmed — by just how many parties he attended. His plays and poetry haven’t lasted – how could they, with all this gallivanting? Until he established a home of his own with the painter Dora Carrington, where they could have parties of their own, pets of their own and love triangles of their own, he was forever flitting among households like some sort of rent-a-guest. It’s amazing he managed to write anything at all.

Ellmann’s commentary on the letters themselves is no less entertaining. Apparently she has a new book, Doctors and Nurses, coming out in March, in trade paper.


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