Lytton Strachey (1880-1932) is one of the key figures in the cultural life of twentieth century Britain, and his letters are a literary treasure-trove of the man and his world, as well as a record of the startling and poignant love-affair, between him and the painter Dora Carrington. The breadth of his correspondence is breathtaking, going from precocious childhood letters, to letters to Leonard and Virginia Woolf, Maynard Keynes and other members of the Bloomsbury Group to love letters to Duncan Grant and Carrington. The thousands of letters he wrote, retain their vitality to this day discussing changes in morals, the writing of history, literature and philosophy, politics, war and peace and the advent of modernism. As an historian and biographer, he was largely responsible for our own view that the Victorians were priggish; he was openly homosexual, lived in a menage a trois with Ralph Partridge and Carrington.
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Astonishingly ... this seems to be the first occasion on which Lytton Strachey's letters have been brought together in print. -- The Spectator 19 March 2005 by Philip Hensher
His gossip is priceless. No one can pinpoint human failure, pretension or pomposity more brilliantly than Strachey. -- Daily Telegraph 26 March 2005 by Hilary Spurling
His sex life...as Paul Levy warns in his excellent introduction, "will startle even those who regard themselves as unshockable." -- Evening Standard 18 April 2005 by Claire Harman
Strachey ...prophesied...the literature of the future ... "indecent, amusing, and romantic, and even written well." Just like these wonderful letters. -- Sunday Times 27 March 2005 by Mark Bostridge
The letters document a life of almost infinite variety, not least in sexual matters. -- The Week 2 April 2005 Book of the Week
Strachey wrote at least six times the number of letters included in this selection, and it took me about five years to choose the letters included, and to annotate them. His output of letters was similar to that of one of his favourite correspondents, Virginia Woolf, and this edition includes, for the first time, all his letters to her, complete and unexpurgated. I have also included every letter of which I am aware that deals with or criticises the literary work of his friends such as T.S. Eliot, Leonard Woolf, E.M. Forster, G.E, Moore, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, Roger Fry, Clive Bell and Rupert Brooke. His relations with John Maynard Keynes, Duncan Grant and other members of the Bloomsbury Group are covered as throughly as space allowed, and his love affair with the painter, Carrington is given the same prominence it had in their lives. Though written a long time ago, some of these letters still have the power to shock. Most of them are amusing, and none is dull.
The Lytton Strachey who emerges from these letters is very much the man described in Michael Holroyd's heroic biography, though with an added poignancy conveyed by his own words. His misogyny, occasional racial prejudice and unthinking anti-Semitism are not covered up in the editing. Yet here he appears a more radical figure - a sexual, political and cultural radical, much in advance of his own age and its mores.
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Book Description PENGUIN, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0141014733