Opinion Mary Kenny

Monday 20 November 2017

Did the Bloomsbury set really launch sexual liberation in 1910?

Vanessa Bell
Vanessa Bell
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Did the "Bloomsbury group" of writers, artists and intellectuals who flourished in London from about 1910 until the 1940s really launch modern sexual liberation?

That's the premise of the TV drama series, 'Life in Squares', showing on BBC 2 tonight. It's been called "a bonkbuster", with much "copulation" between men and women and men and men amply demonstrated on screen.

One of the Bloomsbury descendents, Virginia Nicholson, granddaughter of Vanessa Bell, has said that the controversial drama has "too much sex": the "romping in the hay, bottoms, breasts and manly chests come at the expense of the artistic legacy left by Bloomsbury." It was "squirm-making" and "embarrassing" watching explicit scenes depicting her grandparents.

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