During the 1930s and '40s Bloomsbury luminaries frequently gathered at Charleston, a farmhouse in Sussex that was the home of painter Vanessa Bell, her husband, art critic Clive Bell, and her lover, the painter Duncan Grant. In reminiscences by the principals' children and grandchildren, this interesting and eclectic collection edited by Lee, the founder of the Charleston Newsletter , brings the Bloomsbury Group to life, evoking the flavor of Charleston and the unconventional lives that were lived there. The book also includes biographers' and critics' evaluations of the art produced by Vanessa Bell, Grant and Roger Fry, and a previously unpublished piece written by 12-year-old Virginia Stephen (later Woolf). A captivating addition to the ever-expanding body of work documenting the lives of this influential group of artists and writers. (Sept.)
This collection of writings is divided into three sections, furnishing memories of the Bloomsbury painters, the sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, and Charleston, the Bloomsbury home of Vanessa and Clive Bell and Duncan Grant. The brief writings are mostly reminiscences by offspring of some of the main figures and commentaries by various art historians and scholars. No critical or analytical essays are provided, and the continuity suffers somewhat from all the different angles--childhood memories juxtaposed with observations in the aesthetic of Roger Fry. Notable is an amusing and slightly macabre work written by a young Virginia Woolf that was previously unpublished. This collection will certainly appeal to Bloomsbury devotees. Recommended for comprehensive literature and art history collections.-- Janice Braun, Oakland, Cal.