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Important Terms, People and Events


Allies -   · Alliance of countries that was victorious in World War One: Belgium, France, Russia, Serbia, Great Britain, Japan, and America.)
Bloomsbury Group -   · The appellation given to a group of friends-painters, writers, philosophers and economists-that made the London neighborhood of Bloomsbury its home. Active mainly between 1904 and 1941. Members included Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Clive and Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry, Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keyes and Duncan Grant, among others.
Central Powers -   · Alliance of countries that lost World War One to the Allies: Germany, Austro-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire.
Fascism  -   · A governmental philosophy which holds the state and nation superior to the masses, and dictates state control over nearly every facet of private and public life. Used first by Mussolini's political party, but also a fair description of the tenets of the Nazi party.
Hogarth Press -   · The publishing house founded by Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Published many of the era's greatest writers when they were unknowns, such as T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, Katherine Mansfield, Sigmund Freud and Gorki.
Manic-Depression -   · Also called Bi-polar Disorder, manic-depression is characterized by manic episodes–in which the patient is highly agitated-and periods of dark depression. Virginia Woolf likely suffered from manic-depression
Modernism  -   · School of literary technique and thought in which writers believed new forms of expression were necessary to relay the realities of a modern and fractured world. Virginia Woolf, one of the most eminent Modernist writers, utilized stream-of-consciousness writing, for example, to convey a character's interior thoughts. Contemporaries included James Joyce and D.H. Lawrence.
Nazi Party  -   · Also called National Socialism, the Nazi Party was the party of Adolph Hitler and ruled Germany from 1933 until 1945. Adhered to doctrines of racial "purity" and racial inequality.
Socialism  -   · A political and economy theory, which promotes collective or government owned and operated production and distribution systems. Reliant on mass cooperation and social service rather than the independent spirit of capitalism.


Clive Bell  -  Virginia's brother-in-law, husband to Vanessa. Like his wife, he was a painter. He was also an art and literary critic. Author of Art (1914), Since Cézanne (1922), Landmarks in Nineteenth-Century Painting (1927), and Proust (1929).
Julian Bell  -  Virginia's nephew (son of Vanessa and Clive Bell). Killed in the Spanish Civil War in 1937.
Quentin Bell  -  Virginia's nephew (son of Vanessa and Clive Bell) and biographer
Vanessa Bell  -  Virgina's beloved sister and a talented painter. Married to Clive Bell. The two sisters were extremely close-emotional and intellectual confidantes.
Violet Dickinson  -  Virginia's close friend and, according to biographer and nephew Quentin Bell, the first woman Virginia was in love with.
George Duckworth  -  Virginia's elder stepbrother. Sexually abused her beginning when she was thirteen.
Gerald Duckworth  -  Virginia's other half-brother. He published her first novels.
T.S. Eliot -  Friend of Leonard and Virginia's. Was an unknown poet when he first brought his poetry to Hogarth House and was working in a bank by day to support himself. Best known for Prufrock and Other Observations (1917), Poems (1920), and The Waste Land (1922). Eliot won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. He was also an extremely influential critic and a playwright. Leonard and Virginia were the first to publish him and were lifelong supporters of his work.
Roger Fry  -  A brilliant art critic and painter who was part of the table at Bloomsbury. He was particularly supportive and attuned to modern French painting, specifically the post-impressionists like Cézanne, Picasso and Matisse. Faced monstrous criticism and controversy when he opened the First Post-Impressionist Art Exhibit in London in 1910. He wrote His Vision and Design (1920), Transformations (1926), Cézanne (1927), and Last Lectures (1939).
Henry James -  An American novelist and literary critic who spent most of his life in Britain. James was a technical innovator in prose and an exceptionally original stylist. His books include The Golden Bowl, The Aspern Papers, The Bostonians, The Europeans, Portrait of a Lady and The Art of Fiction.
John Maynard Keyes -  English economist. His theories and philosophy-called Keynesian Economics-are widely considered to have the greatest influence on modern economics.
James Russell Lowell -  Major New England poet and literary critic. He wrote books such as Fireside Travels (1864), Among My Books (1870), The Bigelow Papers (1848) and Poems (1844). In 1877 he was appointed minister to London, which is how he made the acquaintance of Virginia's father Leslie Stephen.
Katherine Mansfield -  British author and considered one of the century's best practitioners of the short story. Her collections include Bliss (1920), The Garden Party (1922), Something Childish (1924) and her collected stories (1937). Was a friend and sometime foe of Virginia's.
Henri Matisse -  A French painter and sculptor-considered one of the post-impressionists. Along with Picasso, considered one of the most influential artists of the Twentieth Century. He was one of the artists Roger Fry exhibited at the scandalous Post Impressionist Art Exhibits in London.
Pablo Picasso  -  Spanish painter and sculptor who worked in France. Together, with Matisse, Cézanne and other artists, he was part of the post-impressionist movement. He was one of the artists Roger Fry exhibited at the First Post Impressionist Art Exhibit.
Vita Sackville-West -  One of Virginia's closest friends and, according to Bell, a lover. She was a beautiful, forceful, aristocratic woman, the wife of a British colonial counselor. She was also a writer, the author of The Edwardians (1930) and All Passion Spent (1931) as well as works of poetry and memoir.
Adrian Stephen  -  Virginia's younger brother.
Julia Duckworth Stephen  -  Virginia's mother, Leslie Stephen's second wife.
Laura Stephen -  Sir Leslie Stephen's first daughter by Minny Thackeray. She was insane her whole life and died in an institution. Her madness made Virginia acutely aware of her own tendency towards mental instability.
Leslie Stephen  -  Virginia's illustrious father. He was the writer of Dictionary of National Biography, still considered a massively important work. He also was an ardent supporter of authors like Thomas Hardy, Henry James and Robert Louis Stephenson when they were unknowns. Also an avid mountain climber who wrote about the sport.
Thoby Stephen  -  Virginia's elder brother. The Thursday night get togethers he organized with his Cambridge buddies formed the nucleus of what was later to become, after his untimely death from Typhoid Fever, the Bloomsbury Circle.
Lytton Strachey  -  Luminous member of the Bloomsbury Group and great friend of Virginia's (there was talk of marriage, which was later dropped.) Although also a respected literary critic, Strachey is perhaps England's most famous biographer; the author, most famously, of Eminent Victorians (1918), Queen Victoria (1921) and Portraits in Miniature (1931).
William Makepeace Thackeray  -  English novelist and satirist. His daughter, Harriet (or Minny), was Virginia's father Sir Leslie Stephen's first wife.
Queen Victoria -  Queen of England and Ireland from 1837–1901.
Leonard Woolf  -  Virginia's husband, and a novelist in his own right. He also was an economic critic, an active socialist and, with his wife, publisher of Hogarth Press.


Battle of Britain -  A series of air battles fought between Great Britain and Germany between August and October of 1940. Considered a prelude to a German invasion of England, Britain managed to fend off the German forces, despite heavy night bombings of London and other English cities.
First Post-Impressionist Exhibition -  An art exhibition held in 1910 at the London Museum, curated by Roger Fry. It featured works by artists like Cézanne, Matisse and Picasso and caused a major scandal in the London art scene.
World War One -  Also known as the Great War, a conflict lasting from 1914–1918 between the Allies (Britain, America, France, Russia, Japan, Serbia and Belgium) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austro-Hungary and Ottoman Empire). It was, at that point, the largest war in world history.

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