Bloomsbury? What Did They Ever Do For Us?

“Bloomsbury, the fragile but oddly resilient cargo of intellectuals, art theorists, novelists and wife-swappers who between them exerted such a sinewy grasp on early to mid-century English culture, represents perhaps the most desperate example yet of the reading public’s tendency to admire literary people for non-literary reasons, for personality and peculiarity rather than what exists on the page. Look at what Bloomsbury achieved, in terms of books written and ideas entertained, and with a few marked exceptions (Woolf’s The Common Reader, Strachey’s Queen Victoria) the trophy cabinet is conspicuously bare.”