Review by Choice Review

This work attempts to illustrate the rise of modernism (the breaking away from traditional values embraced so vigorously by the Victorians) by culling the Bloomsbury group for examples of this movement. For those who know little or nothing about the writers, artists, and thinkers associated with Bloomsbury, this book might prove instructive. The major works of Forster, Strachey, and Woolf are mentioned with specific attention to plot, theme, and character. Peripheral mention is accorded to the Bells, Leslie Stephen, V. Sackville-West, Carrington, Duncan Grant, Maynard Keynes, David Garnett, and other "Bloomsberries," but most attention focuses on the major writers within the group. The attempt to discuss the central subject, "Bloomsbury and Modernism," falls far short of what must have been the desired goal. The scope of the study, however, is so large that such a circumstance was very likely inevitable. Nonetheless, D'Aquila has gathered together a great deal of information about these fascinating people and writes with enthusiasm and verve. Purists will be annoyed with the comma splices, failure to make subject and verb agree, and lapses in diction, but the general reader will find the book highly readable. Particularly interesting (and on occasion sharply astute) is the author's discussion of Woolf's Orlando and A Room of One's Own. More informative on Bloomsbury per se are Leon Edel's Bloomsbury: A House of Lions (CH, Nov '79) and The Bloomsbury Group, ed. by S.P. Rosenbaum (CH, Nov '75). -V. L. Radley, SUNY College at Oswego

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