The Bloomsbury Group audio book

cultural history - voices from the past

CD box set:
British Library

Reviewed by:
On 15 January 2010
Last modified:1 February 2015


Rare archive recordings and vintage podcasts

The Bloomsbury Group audio book is a collection of archive recordings taken from long-unheard BBC broadcasts and recordings from the Charleston Trust, many of them published here for the first time. They come in a two-CD boxed set, accompanied by a sixteen page explanatory booklet. Contributors to the Virginia Woolf Internet discussion group often comment on how astonishing it is to hear these voices from the past – and how remarkable their accents seem to us now. This is living proof that speech patterns and accents change over time.

The Bloomsbury Group audioRemember that Woolf began writing over a hundred years ago, and her father married Thackeray’s daughter – so these recordings carry with them direct links back as far as the Victorian era. For Bloomsbury Group aficionados and lovers of period nostalgia, this is a rare treat. Secondary Bloomsbury figures throw interesting light on life at that time via their first-hand accounts and memories of each other.

  • Virginia Woolf reading an extract from a radio talk on the importance of language
  • Leonard Woolf proffering a Who’s Who of the Bloomsbury Group
  • Desmond McCarthy meditating on ‘tears’ in literature
  • Duncan Grant discussing the infamous Dreadnought Hoax
  • Clive Bell remembering Lytton Strachey asking, ‘Who would you most like to see coming up the drive?’
  • Frances Partridge speaking about the Group’s larger influence
  • William Plomer discussing the Group’s exclusivity
  • David Garnett candidly describing the relationship between Lytton Strachey and Dora Carrington
  • David Cecil detailing Virginia Woolf’s day-to-day appearance
  • Angelica Garnett opining on various attitudes towards members of the Group
  • Harold Nicholson reciting a talk on the members and attitudes that dominated the Group
  • Vita Sackville-West talking about the inspiration behind Virginia Woolf’s Orlando
  • Quentin Bell exactingly describing the fashions of Virginia Woolf
  • Benedict Nicholson remembering Virginia Woolf’s visits to Sissinghurst
  • Margery Fry holding court on Virginia Woolf’s flights of fancy
  • Elizabeth Bowen recalling Bloomsbury parties and Virginia Woolf’s antics
  • Ralph Partridge reminiscing on time spent with Leonard and Virginia Woolf
  • John Lehmann describing his reactions to Woolf’s final novel, Between the Acts
  • Bertrand Russell on Lytton Strachey and his family
  • Gerald Brenan recalling times spent with Lytton Strachey, Ralph Partridge, and Dora Carrington
  • Grace Higgins describing daily life at Charleston, the Bloomsbury outpost in Sussex

© Roy Johnson 2010

The Bloomsbury Group (Spoken Word), British Library; 2 CD audio set with 16 page booklet, edition (November 15, 2009), Language: English, ISBN: 0712305939

Bloomsbury Group links

Red button Bloomsbury Group materials

Red button The Bloomsbury Group: who were they?

Red button Among the Bohemians

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