How a generation of bold, sexually liberated and gender transgressive Bright Young Things in the 1920s and 30s rejuvenated the ageing Bloomsbury set, giving them a new and relevant voice.
In the 1920s a new generation stepped forward to invigorate the Bloomsbury Group -- creative young people who tantalised the original 'Bloomsberries' with their captivating looks and provocative ideas.
Young Bloomsbury introduces us to an extraordinarily colourful cast of characters, including novelist and music critic Eddy Sackville-West, 'who wore elaborate make-up and dressed in satin and black velvet'; sculptor Stephen Tomlin; and writer Julia Strachey. Talented and productive, these larger-than-life figures had high-achieving professional lives and extremely complicated emotional lives.
Bloomsbury had always celebrated sexual equality and freedom in private, but by the 1920s self-expression was becoming more public, with cross-dressing Young Bloomsbury giving Old Bloomsbury a new voice in a chosen family of a shared rebellion against pre-war conventions.
Young Bloomsbury just BRIMS with the same kind of sexy vitality embodied by the characters Nino Strachey describes in such effervescent detail. Just when you might have wondered if there could possibly be room for a new and revealing study of a group of lives which have been so meticulously and extensively documented, Nino's exhilarating lens offers an entirely original and thrilling focus. As scepticism, admiration, envy, and confusion ebb and flow between one chattering, seductive, thinking, inspiring generation and another, this is Gatsby made real - Juliet Nicolson
Great fun and, for all fans of the Bloomsbury Group, enormously informative - like being transported back to "dancing the night hours away underground in the pitch dark and smoke-filled avant-garde nightclubs of that day", you never know who you're going to meet - Simon Fenwick, author of THE CRICHEL BOYS
With a deft turn of the Bloomsbury kaleidoscope, and an impressive gift for finding treasures in the archives, Nino Strachey reveals colourful new patterns of experiments in living which speak trenchantly to our own cultural moment - Mark Hussey, author of CLIVE BELL AND THE MAKING OF MODERNISM
After studying at Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute, Nino Strachey worked as a curator for the National Trust and English Heritage. Her first book, Rooms of Their Own, explored the homes of three writers linked to the Bloomsbury Group, revealing changing attitudes towards sexuality and gender in the 1920s and 30s. Nino is the last member of the Strachey family to have grown up at Sutton Court in Somerset, home of the Stracheys for over 300 years. She lives in West London with her husband and child, surrounded by the displaced portraits of her Strachey relations. Her relative Lytton was the first of many Stracheys to make their way to Bloomsbury. Follow her on Twitter @NinoStrachey.