Beth Carole Rosenberg Special Commissioned Essay on the Bloomsbury Group Critical Essays


(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

Special Commissioned Essay on the Bloomsbury Group Beth Carole Rosenberg

This special topic entry, written by Beth Carole Rosenberg of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, presents an overview and analysis of the Bloomsbury Group. For more information on the Bloomsbury Group, see TCLC, Volume 34.

The following chronology offers an overview of the Bloomsbury Group. The events presented here are discussed in greater detail in the critical essay that follows.

1866: Roger Fry is born.

1877: Desmond MacCarthy is born.

1879: E. M. Forster is born.

Vanessa Stephen is born.

1880: Lytton Strachey is born.

Thoby Stephen is born.

Saxon Sydney-Turner is born.

Leonard Woolf is born.

1881: Clive Bell is born.

1882: Virginia Stephen is born.

1883: J. M. Keynes is born.

Adrian Stephen is born.

1885: Duncan Grant is born.

Roger Fry enters King's College, Cambridge.

1894: Desmond MacCarthy enters Trinity College, Cambridge.

1895: Mrs. Leslie Stephen dies.

Virginia Stephen experiences her first breakdown.

1897: E. M. Forster enters King's College, Cambridge.

Desmond MacCarthy leaves Trinity College.

1899: Clive Bell, Thoby Stephen, Lytton Strachey, Saxon Sydney-Turner, Leonard Woolf enter Trinity College, Cambridge.

The Midnight Society—a “reading society”—is founded at Trinity by Bell, Sydney-Turner, Stephen, and Woolf.

1901: Vanessa Stephen enters the Royal Academy Schools.

E. M. Forster leaves Cambridge.

1902: Duncan Grant attends the Westminster Art School.

Woolf, Sydney-Turner, and Strachey are elected to “The Apostles” (older members include Fry, MacCarthy, Forster).

Clive Bell conducts historical research in London after leaving Cambridge.

Adrian Stephen enters Trinity College, Cambridge.

J. M. Keynes enters King's College, Cambridge.

1903: G. E. Moore publishes Principia Ethica.

J. M. Keynes is elected to “The Apostles.”

1904: Leslie Stephen dies, and the Stephen children move to 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury.

Clive Bell lives in Paris and conducts historical research.

Leonard Woolf leaves Cambridge, takes the Civil Service examination, and sails for Ceylon as a cadet in the Ceylon Civil Service.

Lytton Strachey works on a fellowship dissertation.

Virginia Stephen experiences her second breakdown.

1905: Adrian Stephen leaves Trinity College.

Virginia Stephen teaches at Morley College, London.

Thoby Stephen begins Thursday evenings at Gordon Square for his friends.

Vanessa Stephen organizes the Friday Club, which is concerned with the arts.

Lytton Strachey leaves Cambridge.

1906: Roger Fry becomes curator of the department of painting, Metropolitan Museum of Art New York.

Duncan Grant studies art in Paris.

The Stephens tour Greece.

Thoby Stephen dies of typhoid fever.

1907: Vanessa Stephen marries Clive Bell.

Virginia and Adrian Stephen move to 29 Fitzroy Square; Thursday evenings begin again.

Virginia Stephen works on her first novel.

1908: Julian Bell is born.

1909: Duncan Grant moves to 21 Fitzroy Square.

Lady Ottoline Morrell comes to Thursday evenings in Fitzroy Square.

J. M. Keynes is elected to a fellowship at King's College, Cambridge.

1910: The Dreadnought hoax takes place.

Roger Fry meets Duncan Grant and the Bells; talks to the Friday Club; is dismissed from the Metropolitan Museum of Art by J. P. Morgan.

Virginia Stephen does volunteer work for women's suffrage.

Lytton Strachey and Lady Ottoline Morrell meet.

Quentin Bell is born.

Roger Fry organized the first post-impressionist exhibition at the Grafton Galleries with Desmond MacCarthy as secretary.

1911: Leonard Woolf returns from Ceylon.

J. M. Keynes becomes a lecturer in economics at Cambridge.

Virginia and Adrian Stephen move to 38 Brunswick Square, where they share a house with Woolf, Keynes, and Grant.

1912: Leonard Woolf resigns from the Colonial Service.

Virginia Stephen marries Leonard Woolf; they live in Clifford's Inn, London, and at Asheham House, Sussex, after traveling in France, Spain, and Italy.

Roger Fry organizes the second post-impressionist exhibition organized with Leonard Woolf as secretary.

1913: Roger Fry founds the Omega Workshops with Duncan Grant as co-director.

Virginia Woolf suffers another breakdown and attempts suicide.

1914: Clive Bell publishes Art.

Leonard Woolf publishes The Wise Virgin.

J. M. Keynes joins the British Treasury.

The Woolfs move to Richmond, Surrey, from Clifford's Inn.

1915: Virginia Woolf publishes The Voyage Out.

The Woolfs move to Hogarth House, Richmond.

1916: Lytton Strachey's claim of conscientious objection to conscription is denied, but he is granted exemption for medical reasons.

Leonard Woolf is exempted from conscription for medical reasons.

Clive Bell does alternative service on the Morrells' farm at Garsington.

Vanessa Bell, her children, Duncan Grant, and David Garnett move to Wissett in Suffolk so that Garnett and Grant can do alternative service on a farm; later in the year they move to Charleston, Firle, Sussex, where the Bells and Duncan Grant live permanently.

J. M. Keynes and friends take over 46 Gordon Square.

1917: The Woolfs buy a printing press.

Leonard Woolf becomes secretary to the Labor Party Advisory Committee on Imperial and International Questions, a position he will hold for more than twenty years.

Virginia Woolf begins keeping a regular diary.

Lytton Strachey and Dora Carrington set up housekeeping at the Mill House, Tidmarsh, Berkshire.

1918: Lytton Strachey publishes Eminent Victorians.

The Woolfs' Hogarth Press publishes Katherine Mansfield's Prelude.

At the suggestion of Roger Fry and Duncan Grant, J. M. Keynes persuades the Treasury to purchase works of art from the Degas sale in Paris.

Angelica Bell is born.

1919: Virginia Woolf publishes Night and Day.

Hogarth Press publishes Virginia Woolf's Kew Gardens and T. S. Eliot's Poems, but is unable to publish James Joyce's Ulysses, offered to the press the year before.

J. M. Keynes travels to Paris as the principal representative of the British Treasury at the Peace Conference; he resigns in June and writes The Economic Consequences of Peace, which is published at the end of the year.

The Woolfs move from Asheham to Monk's House, Rodmell, Sussex.

1920: Roger Fry publishes Vision and Design.

Leonard Woolf publishes Economic Imperialism.

Omega Workshops close.

First meeting of the Memoir Club.

Duncan Grant has his first one-man show in London.

1921: Lytton Strachey publishes Queen Victoria.

Virginia Woolf is ill and inactive for four months.

Ralph Partridge marries and Carrington.

1922: Virginia Woolf publishes Jacob's Room.

Leonard Woolf is defeated as the Labor candidate for the Combined University constituency.

1923: Hogarth Press publishes T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land.

J. M. Keynes becomes chairman of the board of the Nation and Atheneum; Leonard Woolf becomes literary editor.

1924: E. M. Forster publishes A Passage to India.

Hogarth Press publishes Sigmund Freud's Collected Papers.

Strachey, Carrington, and Partridge move to Ham Spray House, Berkshire.

The Woolfs and the Hogarth Press move to 52 Tavistock Square in Bloomsbury.

1925: Virginia Woolf publishes The Common Reader and Mrs. Dalloway.

J. M. Keynes marries Lydia Lopokova.

Virginia Woolf is ill for three months.

1927: Virginia Woolf publishes To the Lighthouse.

Leonard Woolf publishesEssays on Literature, History, Politics.

1928: Virginia Woolf publishes Orlando: A Biography.

Lytton Strachey publishes Elizabeth and Essex.

1929: Virginia Woolf publishes A Room of One's Own.

Duncan Grant presents a retrospective exhibition (1910-29).

Roger Fry lectures at the Royal Academy.

1930: Roger Fry publishes Henri Matisse.

Vanessa Bell presents an exhibition of her paintings in London.

1931: Virginia Woolf publishes The Waves.

Desmond MacCarthy publishes Portraits.

Leonard Woolf publishes After the Deluge.

Roger Fry presents a retrospective exhibition of paintings.

1932: Virginia Woolf publishes The Common Reader: Second Series.

Lytton Strachey dies; Carrington commits suicide.

Roger Fry lectures at Queen's Hall.

Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant exhibit recent paintings in London.

1933: Roger Fry appointed Slade Professor at Cambridge.

Clive Bell becomes art critic of the New Statesman & Nation.

1934: Roger Fry dies.

Vanessa Bell's paintings are exhibited.

1936: Virginia Woolf is ill for two months.

1937: Vanessa Bell exhibits paintings.

Duncan Grant exhibits paintings.

Julian Bell is killed in Spanish Civil War.

1938: Virginia Woolf publishes Three Guineas.

John Lehmann rejoins Hogarth Press as general manager and partner, buying out Virginia Woolf's interest in the press.

J. M. Keynes reads “My Early Beliefs” to the Memoir Club.

1939: The Woolfs and the Hogarth Press move to Mecklenburgh Square.

1940: Virginia Woolf publishes Roger Fry: A Biography.

Angelica Bell celebrates her twenty-first birthday, which is deemed “the last Bloomsbury party.”

Hogarth Press is bombed in Mecklenburgh Square and moves to Hertfordshire.

1941: Virginia Woolf publishes Between the Acts.

Virginia Woolf commits suicide.

Vanessa Bell presents an exhibition of paintings.

1942: Angelica Bell marries David Garnett.

1946: J. M. Keynes dies.

Leonard Woolf sells John Lehmann's interest in Hogarth Press to Chatto and Windus.

1948: Adrian Stephen dies.

1952: Desmond MacCarthy dies.

1953: Mary MacCarthy dies.

1956: Vanessa Bell presents an exhibition of paintings.

The Memoir Club meets for the last time.

1957: Duncan Grant exhibits paintings.

1959: Duncan Grant presents a retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery.

1961: Vanessa Bell dies; memorial exhibition of her paintings.

1962: Saxon Sydney-Turner dies.

1964: Clive Bell dies.

1969: Leonard Woolf dies.

1970: E. M. Forster dies.

1978: Duncan Grant dies.