A General Account of the Bloomsbury Group

Part of the Keynes Seminars book series (KESE)


How horrified they might have been, though it would have been alarm mingled with amusement. What if some of them were seated among us now? Virginia Woolf would have lapsed into some reverie as she gazed at the ceiling; Lytton Strachey might have paid some attention until a seductive profile or his indigestion interrupted him; Duncan Grant fumbling in a pocket would eventually have extracted a grubby envelope and proceeded to draw the head in front of him. Their love and respect for Maynard Keynes would not have dammed the natural expression of their personalities. We here talking today would have been subjected to Leonard Woolf’s scrutiny and afterwards perhaps some withering but accurate remark. Vanessa Bell quite simply would have gone to sleep. How much they preferred the sitting room to the lecture hall, the conversation to the lecture. When a few years ago Duncan Grant found himself in the preposterous position of having an evening devoted to him at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, he decided on the line of mischievous anarchy to the point of denying he ever painted the pictures that there and then glowed one after the other from the screen above.


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  1. 4.
    J. M. Keynes, Two Memoirs: My Early Beliefs (1944).Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    L. Woolf, Beginning Again (Hogarth Press, 1964), p. 25.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    Clive Bell, Old Friends (Chatto Windus, 1956), Chapter 8.Google Scholar
  4. 14.
    Quoted in P. N. Furbank, Life of E. M. Forster (Secker and Warburg, 1978), p. 153.Google Scholar

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© Keynes College 1980

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