Virginia and her Set

  • Gerald Brenan
Part of the Macmillan Interviews and Recollections book series (IR)


The set I moved in, which centred round that small group of older people later known as the ‘Bloomsbury Group’, had certain things in common. They had all of them been at either Oxford or Cambridge, they were much better off than I was and they had none of them fought in the war. Some had been medically unfit, others pacifists, one had served in the Red Cross, others were too young to have been called up.1 For many years I met no one except Ralph [Partridge] who had been at the front. Not only did the war seem to have been entirely forgotten, but those who had fought in it were slightly looked down on as people who had taken part in a shabby and barbarous enterprise. I on the other hand was proud of having been through it and felt that there was something thin and unreal about those who had not done so. They had missed the great experience of the age and that, I said to myself when I was in a priggish mood, was one of the reasons for their futility. Their comfortable incomes, their cliquishness, their suspicion of new adventures in literature, their lack of any connections with the larger world made me feel that, much as I liked and admired many of them, it would not do for me as a writer to get too involved with them. I wanted to have my own life, not to move in a small literary set or to become anyone’s disciple.


Railway Carriage Good Conversation Solo Performance Mystical Vision Religious Prejudice 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1995

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  • Gerald Brenan

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