I imagine that I have said enough to give the reader a fair idea of what I believe to be Bloomsbury’s main characteristics...

I imagine that I have said enough to give the reader a fair idea of what I believe to be Bloomsbury’s main characteristics. Before attempting to tie my arguments together in what I hope may be a reasonably tidy knot I would like once more to emphasize the fact that I am writing about something almost impalpable, almost indefinable.

Imagine a great highway up which walks a heterogeneous crowd –the British Intellectuals. There is in that great concourse a little group of people who talk eagerly together, it is but one of many similar groups and sometimes groups seem to merge. Figures move in towards the centre and move away again to walk elsewhere; some are silent, some are loquacious. When the great ambling procession begins to march in time to a military band, the part to which we devote our attention falls out of step; this makes it, for a time, conspicuous, and yet even so it is not preferably definable. There are other groups which also become noticeably civilian; moreover, martial music is an infectious thing, and it is hard to say who is and who is not walking to its rhythms. Then, at a later stage, the group suddenly becomes enlarged. Everyone seems to be joining it, so that it is no longer a group, it has become a crowd. It dissolves, the original members disappear, and it is gone.

The image is sufficiently banal but I can find none better to convey the amorphous character of my subject.

What then had this group in common apart from the fact that it was talking? Perhaps this in itself may be a distinction, for there are groups that do not talk, they shout and yell and come to blows. Bloomsbury did none of these things. Despite tremendous differences of opinion, it talked. Indeed it did more, it talked on the whole reasonably, it talked as friends may talk together, with all the licence and all the affection of friendship. It believed, in fact, in pacific and rational discussion.


Fuente: The Bloomsbury Group. Edited By S.P.Rosenbaum. University of Toronto Press. 1995.


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