Bloomsbury group, name given to the literary group that made the Bloomsbury area of London the center of its activities from 1904 to World War II. It included Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, E. M. Forster, Vita Sackville-West, Roger Fry, Clive Bell, and John Maynard Keynes. The group began as a social clique: a few recent Cambridge graduates and their closest friends would assemble on Thursday nights for drinks and conversation. Its members were committed to a rejection of what they felt were the strictures and taboos of Victorianism on religious, artistic, social, and sexual matters. They remained a fairly tight-knit group for many years; recent biographers have detailed their tangled personal relations. By the 1920s Bloomsbury's reputation as a cultural circle was fully established to the extent that its mannerisms were parodied and Bloomsbury became a widely used term connoting an insular, snobbish aestheticism. Unique in the brilliance, variety, and output of its members, the group has remained the focus of widespread scholarly and popular interest.
See J. K. Johnstone, The Bloomsbury Group (1954); L. Woolf, Beginning Again (1964); Q. Bell, Bloomsbury (1969) and Bloomsbury Recalled (1996); S. P. Rosenbaum, The Bloomsbury Group (1975); A. Garnett, Deceived with Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood (1985); L. J. Markert, The Bloomsbury Group: A Reference Guide (1990).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.