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Collection of papers by Bloomsbury authors, 1913-1959.
8 folders
Collection number: MS 0020

Letters and other documents relating to the Bloomsbury Group of 20th-century English authors collected by Gladys M. Brownell. Includes one letter each by Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell; 3 letters by Duncan Grant to Harold Monro; 3 letters by Lytton Strachey; and 9 mostly short letters by E. M. Forster.

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Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

(Giles) Lytton Strachey, a critic and essayist, was born in 1880 in London to Lieutenant-General Richard and Jane Maria Strachey. From 1897-1899 he attended Liverpool University where he studied history. He spent the next four years at Trinity College, Cambridge. He later became part of the Bloomsbury literary/artistic circle. His first book, "Landmarks in French literature," was published in 1912. He published many other books until his death on January 21, 1932, in Hungerford, England. Vanessa Bell, artist and illustrator, was born in 1879 to Leslie Stephen and Julia Jackson. She attended Sir Arthur Cope's School of Art from 1896-1901, when she gained admission to the Royal Academy Schools. In 1905 she founded the Friday Club, a meeting place for artists. Here she met Clive Bell, whom she married in 1907. In 1913 Roger Fry founded the Omega Workshops in which Bell was a collaborator. From 1913 onwards, Vanessa Bell lived with Duncan Grant and her children. She illustrated dust jackets for her sister Virginia Woolfe's books. She died on April 7, 1961, in Charleston, England. Roger Eliot Fry, an artist, was born in 1866 in Highgate, England to Sir Edward and Lady Mariabella Fry. He studied at Clifton College, and in 1891 he left for Italy. In 1892 he studied at the Academie Julian in Paris, but left after a brief period. In 1894 he returned to Italy to study art. For the next two years he lectured and painted. In 1896 he married Helen Coombe, a painter. From 1900 on, Fry wrote many articles and reviews. He worked as the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for five years. He founded the Omega Workshops and worked closely with Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. He died in London, on September 9, 1934. E. M. (Edward Morgan) Forster, author, was born on January 1, 1879 in London, England to Edward Morgan Llewellyn and Alice Clara Forster. His father died when he was an infant, and he was raised by his mother and aunts. In 1897 he began attending King's College, Cambridge where his advisor Nathaniel Wedd encouraged him to write. After leaving King's College, Forster travelled through Greece and Italy. He published his first novel in 1905, entitled "Where Angels Fear to Tread." He wrote many other novels and short stories. Forster died on June 7, 1970, at Coventry, England. Duncan (James Corrowr) Grant, artist, was born in 1885 at Rothiemurchus, Inverness, Scotland. He lived primarily in Burma until 1893 when he began preparatory school in England. In 1902 and 1903 he visited Italy, and he spent 1906-7 in Paris studying under Jaques Emile Blanche. From then onwards, he became part of the Boomsbury group in London. In 1918 he had a daughter with Vanessa Bell, also a member of the group. In 1941, he received his most important commission, decorating the interior of the church at Upper Berwick in Sussex. He died at Aldermaston, England, on May 8, 1978.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Letters by five members of the Bloomsbury Group; menu (9 Jan. 1959) of luncheon for Forster's birthday held at King's College Cambridge; photograph (1961) of Strachey's Berkshire residence.

Chronologically by correspondent.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:


Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Brownell Collections of Bloomsbury Authors, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Massachusetts

History of the Collection

Additional Information
Contact Information
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075

Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370

Email Reference Form:
Encoding funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961 Correspondence.
  • Forster, E. M. (Edward Morgan), 1879-1970 Correspondence.
  • Fry, Roger Eliot, 1866-1934 Correspondence.
  • Grant, Duncan, 1885-1978 Correspondence.
  • Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932 Correspondence.
  • Authors, English - 20th century - Correspondence.
  • Bloomsbury group.

  • Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961.
  • Forster, E. M. (Edward Morgan), 1879-1970.
  • Fry, Roger Eliot, 1866-1934.
  • Grant, Duncan, 1885-1978.
  • Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932.

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