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Literary Movements: The Beginner’s Guide to the Bloomsbury Group

Bloomsbury Group

Definition

The Bloomsbury Group was an influential group of associated English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists, the best known members of which included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, E. M. Forster and Lytton Strachey. This loose collective of friends and relatives lived, worked or studied together near Bloomsbury, London, during the first half of the 20th century. According to Ian Ousby, “although its members denied being a group in any formal sense, they were united by an abiding belief in the importance of the arts”. 

Characteristics of the Bloomsbury Group

  1. Most prominent of these was novelist and essayist Virginia Woolf.
  2. Their works and outlook deeply influenced literature, aesthetics, criticism, and economics as well as modern attitudes towards feminism, pacifism, and sexuality.

Authors and Literary Works

Adeline Virginia Woolf (née Stephen; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English writer who is considered one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century, and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. Born in an affluent household in Kensington, London, she attended the King’s College London and was acquainted with the early reformers of women’s higher education.

During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. She published her first novel titled The Voyage Out in 1915, through the Hogarth Press, a publishing house that she established with her husband, Leonard Woolf. Her best-known works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One’s Own (1929), with its dictum, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

Other Literary Movements and Periods

If you want to learn more about literary periods and movements, consider visiting some of these posts:

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