From the Publisher:
In this portrait, Maggie Humm makes available for the first time a trove of barely known photographs, both amateur and professional, casting new light on the private lives of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell as well as the historical, cultural, and artistic milieux of their circle in Bloomsbury and beyond.|We visit the domestic lives of major nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers and artists, such as E. M. Forster, who is pictured happily engaged in the task of pruning trees with Leonard Woolf. We see T. S. Eliot and his wife, Vivienne, and Thoby Stephen "Kodaking" Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There are intimate portraits of Vanessa Bell's children and erotic photos of Duncan Grant's lovers. Also included are many photographs of a happy and contented Virgina Woolf, which provide an often neglected balance to our sense of her as neurotic and eccentric.|The parade of characters is long and full, including Cyril Connolly, Vita Sackville-West, Roger Fry, David Garnett, Lady Ottoline Morrell, Walter Sickert, Clive Bell, the Stracheys, Dora Carrington, John Maynard Keynes, and many more. The domestic photographs, taken predominantly with the enormously popular vest-pocket Kodak cameras of the time, are complemented by professional photographs by Man Ray and Gisele Freund.|Beyond illustrating the remarkable range of the Woolfs' and Bell's aesthetic vocabularies, the photographs pose an important challenge to language-centered critiques of modernism. Drawing on Foucault and gender, memory, and psychoanalytic theory, Humm shows how modernism is indebted, more than we realize, to the popular culture of photography.