A War of Individuals: Bloomsbury Attitudes to the Great War by Jonathan Atkin

By Jonathan Atkin

This ebook attracts jointly for the first actual time examples of the ''aesthetic pacifism'' practiced throughout the nice battle by means of such celebrated participants as Virginia Woolf, Siegfried Sassoon, and Bertrand Russell. furthermore, the publication outlines the tales of these much less famous who shared the approach of the Bloomsbury workforce and people round them while it got here to dealing with the 1st ''total war.''

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95 This perhaps helps to explain one side of her desire to bring up her boys in the country during the war where they would not be exposed to the conflict to the same extent as in London. However, such was her anger and frustration at the loss of personal freedom that the introduction of conscription would entail, that she admitted to Fry that, for once, she felt a desire to involve herself in public affairs and, although she felt that she lacked the appropriate background and necessary skills to do so, she did agree to undertake office work on a voluntary basis for the National Council for Civil Liberties.

However, Lady Ottoline’s reaction to the war, like that of her lover, Bertrand Russell, also had a practical side; she worked for the Friends of Foreigners organisation, providing comfort where possible to the families of interned German fathers or husbands. She shared with Russell an intense sadness at seeing young men, ‘full of new thought and life’, sent abroad to probable death, and she continually urged him to harness his intellectual ability to his loathing of the war in order to convince others of their point of view through his writing and practical efforts (‘Why don’t you go and see Grey [the Foreign Secretary]’, she urged him at one point), while herself feeling the war ever more keenly.

Hence his decision to take no further part in the war effort. 63 Like Lytton Strachey, Garnett had found that it was impossible not to ‘brood continually’ on the war. Garnett and Duncan Grant became fruit-farmers in the Suffolk countryside following their eventual exemption from military service by the tribunal system. Just as Garnett had considered and tested his options until he arrived by experience at the correct one, Grant’s response was also based initially on a need for experience, although he eventually took a more instinctive route and found, together with his companion and fellow artist Vanessa Bell, that the best way to face the war was simply to continue painting.

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