Lytton Strachey, genius, wit, iconoclast, biographer, pacifist and homosexual campaigner, was at the nexus of the literary and artistic life of Bloomsbury. In the 1960s he was seen as a progenitor of the hippy cult. In the 1990s he appears as a far more subversive and challenging figure. He revolutionized the writing of biography and smuggled ...
Lytton Strachey, genius, wit, iconoclast, biographer, pacifist and homosexual campaigner, was at the nexus of the literary and artistic life of Bloomsbury. In the 1960s he was seen as a progenitor of the hippy cult. In the 1990s he appears as a far more subversive and challenging figure. He revolutionized the writing of biography and smuggled deviant sexual behaviour into our history in his reassessment of Elizabethan and Victorian times. For this retelling of his story Holroyd has had access to published and unpublished material unavailable in the 1960s, when his biography of Strachey first appeared. In many of Bloomsbury's three-cornered relationships, he had only two sides of the triangle. Now he has all three, and in a new social and political climate can tell the full story of this world. He has cut 100,000 words, revised much of the text and added new material, about Strachey himself, about Maynard Keynes, Duncan Grant, Rupert Brooke, and about the tragic life of Strachey's companion, Dora Carrington.
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Publishers Weekly, 1995-02-06 Holroyd's big, gossipy life of English historian Lytton Strachey (1880-1932), first published in 1968 and now in a revised, expanded edition, offers a vibrant, intimate portrait of the Bloomsbury circle, their love affairs, jealousies and creative ferment. In Eminent Victorians (1918), Strachey stripped away the pious camouflage of Victorian society, targeting hypocrisy, imperialism, militarism and religion. Holroyd, biographer of G.B. Shaw, credits Strachey with revolutionizing historical biography by emphasizing character and hidden sexuality and subverting traditional forms through caricature and psychological innuendo. Drawing on thousands of letters by Strachey and his Bloomsbury coterie, Holroyd unearths details of Strachey's adolescent self-loathing and sexual guilt; his proposing marriage to Virginia Woolf in an effort to renounce his homosexuality; his pacifism during WWI; and his relationship with his adoring live-in companion, painter Dora Carrington, who tolerated his gay affairs. This panoramic account of Strachey's trajectory from hypersensitive, shy Cambridge undergraduate to social and literary lion is peopled with the likes of D.H. Lawrence, Rupert Brooke, John Maynard Keynes, T.S. Eliot, Lady Ottoline Morrell, Augustus John and Bertrand Russell. Photos. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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