Bloomsbury and the Natural World

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Date

2014

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Goodwin, Craufurd D

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Abstract

This thesis explores the role that the natural world played in the art and writing of the Bloomsbury group. Very little academic work has been done on this topic beyond the coffee-table books on the gardens of Charleston Farmhouse and Monk’s House. Most serious work has been on the various themes of nature found in Virginia Woolf’s more popular novels. Nature is a prolific theme in the Bloomsbury Group’s painting and literature and they devoted much time to it. Their attitude towards nature was one of respect, not veneration like that of the Romantic period. They viewed man as a part of nature, not outside of nature, or controlling nature. Holding a biocentric view of nature, they eschewed the prevailing attitude of anthropocentricism. They were concerned with the idea of civilization and wrote extensively about what it meant to be civilized. Another major Bloomsbury theme was the contrast of nature wild versus nature tamed. These ideas were discussed, written about, and depicted in their artwork. This paper investigates the aforementioned Bloomsbury topics and also includes man (and woman’s) relationship to nature, terror in the garden, joy in the garden, and the protection of nature.

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Capaldo Traylor, Cheryl (2014). Bloomsbury and the Natural World. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9233.


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