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The Bloomsbury Group remains, to this day, one of modern culture's most remarkable associations of individuals--the diverse contributions of the Bell siblings alone, not to mention their lovers, peers, and acquaintances, rival the output of the rest of the Modernist canon in terms of experimentation, collaboration, and peerless acclaim in literature, art, and theory. This informal group of poets and painters, writers and critics, which included Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Clive and Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Vita Sackville-West, and Bertrand Russell, among others, may have called then-fashionable central London their home, but to generations of future scholars, writers, and cultural aficionados, they helped to locate Modernism both critically and geographically. Now, for the first time, the British Library has gathered their voices and reminiscences together on a masterly two-disc set, which draws on long-unheard BBC archives, many of which will be available for the first time. Among the unforgettable tracks heard in this collection are:
Virginia Woolf reading an extract from a radio talk on the importance of language
Leonard Woolf proffering a Who's Who of the Bloomsbury Group
Desmond McCarthy meditating on "tears" in literature
Duncan Grant discussing the infamous Dreadnought Hoax
Clive Bell remembering Lytton Strachey asking, "Who would you most like to see coming up the drive?"
Frances Partridge speaking about the Group's larger influence
William Plomer discussing the Group's exclusivity
David Garnett candidly describing the relationship between Lytton Strachey and Dora Carrington
David Cecil detailing Virginia Woolf's day-to-day appearance
Angelica Garnett opining on various attitudes towards members of the Group
Harold Nicholson reciting a talk on the members and attitudes that dominated the Group
Vita Sackville-West talking about the inspiration behind Virginia Woolf's "Orlando"
Quentin Bell exactingly describing the fashions of Virginia Woolf
Margery Fry holding court on Virginia Woolf's flights of fancy
Benedict Nicholson remembering Virginia Woolf's visits to Sissinghurst
Elizabeth Bowen recalling Bloomsbury parties and Virginia Woolf's antics
Ralph Partridge reminiscing on time spent with Leonard and Virginia Woolf
John Lehmann describing his reactions to Woolf's final novel, "Between the Acts"
Bertrand Russell on Lytton Strachey and his family
Gerald Brenan recalling times spent with Lytton Strachey, Ralph Partridge, and Dora Carrington
Grace Higgins describing daily life at Charleston, the Bloomsbury outpost in Sussex Running time: CD1 - 60 mins, CD2 - 68 mins