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A War of IndividualsBloomsbury Attitudes to the Great War$
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Jonathan Atkin

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780719060700

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719060700.001.0001

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(p.17) 2 Bloomsbury
A War of Individuals

Jonathan Atkin

Manchester University Press

What were the anti-war feelings chiefly expressed outside ‘organised’ protest and not under political or religious banners – those attitudes that form the raison d'être for this study? As the Great War becomes more distant in time, certain actions and individuals become greyer and more obscure, whilst others seem to become clearer and imbued with a dash of colour amid the sepia. One thinks particularly of the so-called Bloomsbury Group. The small circle of Cambridge undergraduates, whose mutual appreciation of the thoughts and teachings of the academic and philosopher G. E. Moore led them to form lasting friendships, became the kernel of what would become labelled ‘the Bloomsbury Group’. The emotions of Bloomsbury mirrored to a large extent those of its mentors. For one of the ‘fathers’ of Bloomsbury, the older Cambridge academic and humanist Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, the coming of war was disastrous. This chapter looks at the views of some Bloomsbury members about the Great War, including Dickinson, Bertrand Russell, Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, Lytton Strachey, Ottoline Morrell and Vanessa Bell.

Keywords:   Great War, Bloomsbury Group, anti-war feelings, G. E. Moore, Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, Bertrand Russell, Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, Lytton Strachey, Ottoline Morrell

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