Because whenever they wrote the members of Bloomsbury tried to write well, there is an abundant variety of illuminating and delightful reading to be found in the short prose works of the Group's novelists, biographers, critics, and even political economists. In A Bloomsbury Group Reader Professor Rosenbaum offers a representative selection of such writings by Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, Lytton Strachey, Roger Fry, Desmond MacCarthy, Clive Bell, Leonard Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, and Vanessa Bell. His focus in this selection is not upon the lives of the Group but upon what finally must justify our interest in them: their work, in this instance, as writers.
This collection includes both well known and never-before-reprinted writings by such Bloomsbury luminaries as Virginia and Leonard Woolf, E.M. Forster, Lytton Strachey, and John Maynard Keynes. The essays, stories, biographies, and reviews, arranged by genre, include such gems as Desmond McCarthy's discussion of Post-Impressionist art, Keynes's naively optimistic predictions about the ``Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,'' and Virginia Woolf's delightful account of her beginnings as a writer in ``Professions for Women.'' Prefaced with terse and illuminating introductions by editor Rosenbaum, these interesting selections offer ample evidence of the lasting power of the Bloomsbury mystique. This reader deserves a home in most literature collections.-- Barbara Love, St. Lawrence Coll., Kingston, Ontario