Leon (Joseph) Edel V. S. Pritchett - Essay

V. S. Pritchett

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

It is one thing to write a cradle-to-grave biography of a man of genius and to bring to the surface the psychological forces that seemed to form him, as Leon Edel did in his five-volume life of Henry James, a masterpiece of the biographer's art. It is quite another to evoke the interlocking lives of a group like "Bloomsbury," in which there are two geniuses and many talents—all individual, though united in their beliefs and tastes, and who die, variously, in youth, their middle years, or extreme old age, outside the biographer's convenience. Another pattern is necessary, and here Mr. Edel succeeds again. "Bloomsbury: A House of Lions" … is by far the most instructed and graceful book we have had on a subject that...

(The entire section is 515 words.)