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Lytton Strachey: The New Biography

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  148 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
"It is impossible to suppose that this ‘Life' will ever be superseded . . . the best literary biography to appear for many years."—John Rothenstein, New York Times "Written with vivacity and scrupulousness. . . . [Michael Holroyd] has a great novelist's sense of the obstinate mystery of the human person."—George Steiner, The New Yorker
Paperback, 600 pages
Published December 17th 2005 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 1968)
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Paul Bryant
May 28, 2008 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it
I just got this. Years ago I read the original which was published in 1971. It was hugely controversial because it revealed what a polymorphously perverse bunch the Bloomsburies were. I was completely smitten by Carrington who was surely a flower child thirty years too early. Anyhow, time passed and it became more acceptable to reveal details of people's sexuality, and what with Lytton being gay and all, Holroyd dug up so much extra info that he got to the point where he knew he should rewrite h ...more
Andrew Rostan
Dec 26, 2012 Andrew Rostan rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest biographies ever written.
And one which only gets better and richer upon rereading.
Strachey should be more of an icon than he is. He was one of the greatest prose stylists who ever lived...and more importantly for the world at large, a proud gay man and conscientious objector when the former was a crime and the latter might as well have been.
The quality that Holroyd brings out most in this book is one which I find all too rarely in biographies...a need for friendship. He docum
Cindy Brown Ash
Nov 26, 2012 Cindy Brown Ash rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it
This was an extremely well-written, well-organized, enjoyable biography. It's very complete, and I can not imagine it ever being superseded. It was certainly not written in the style of a Strachey biography. The endnotes are entertaining and necessary to the text. This edition includes Holroyd's commentary on the process of preparing the biography and working with the people who knew Lytton Strachey. I envy him his access to these remarkable people, including Frances Partridge, James Strachey, a ...more
Joy H.
Jan 15, 2012 Joy H. marked it as watched-film-only
Added 1/15/12.
I did not read this book but I watched the film (via streaming from Netflix) adapted from the book, Lytton Strachey: The New Biography by Michael Holroyd.

The movie was: "Carrington" (1995) and starred Emma Thompson & Jonathan Pryce:
"The story of the relationship between painter Dora Carrington and author Lytton Strachey in a World War One England of cottages and countryside. Although platonic due to Strachey's homosexuality, the relationship
Lauren Albert
Apr 03, 2014 Lauren Albert rated it liked it
My, I couldn't wait for this book to end. It was like being stuck on a train with a bunch of amorous college students for weeks. Love triangles weren't enough--quadrangles and other angles multiplied. A loved B. B loved C. C loved A. Sometimes C loved A and B. And on and on. I totally lost touch with Strachey and his writing in the book.

Everyone else who reviewed the book seemed to love it. Alas.
Feb 20, 2014 Toni rated it it was amazing
If you want to live where lives are lived read this book. It comes with the highest credentials and is utterly captivating, enthralling. I do congratulate the author, if that is not an impertinence.
Aida Ghazar
Jun 02, 2016 Aida Ghazar rated it it was amazing
Although I could not find the 1st volume in the library! and I do not know the reason!but I enjoyed so much the 2nd volume ,and I do not know what should I read after such a book,
"Lytton quote:The phoenix will re-rise ,eventually"
"One must never confuse a people with its politicians.I love the English for all the qualities they have in common with Falstaff,not for the qualities they have in common with Cromwell"
Mary L.
Aug 27, 2012 Mary L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
Most of you have probably seen the movie "Carrington" and I agree it was grand. However, that should not keep you from reading this biograpy of Lytton Strachey by Michael Holroyd from which the screen play was written. The book gives a much more elaborate potrait of Mr. Strachey and the Bloomsbury group. You will enjoy every nuance and be sorry when you come to the last page.
Apr 27, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book by Holroyd (2 volumes) is more information about Strachey than any one person could ever use, but it's well-written and appealing. It was the basis for the film Carrington, I think. Modernists, modernists, modernists! It's like E Entertainment Television in book form, for modernist lovers.
Jul 19, 2009 Ed rated it really liked it
A wonderful book, full of moving and insightful moments in the life of the guy who pretty much invented the idea of biography as art. Tons of names to keep track of, but it's a joyous burden.
Ron Van Der Reeder
there is nothing new under the sun that has not occured before,it started my fascination with all things Victorian (Bloomsbury,the Pre-raphealites,Oscar Wilde,Thackeray,Dickens,William Morris,London)
Oct 29, 2008 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We find out a lot about all the artists that were considered part of the Bloomsbury group, in England during the 1910s and 1920s.
Julie James
Jan 23, 2014 Julie James marked it as gave-up-on-didn-t-finish
Ok, I only read around 350 pages (it's probably 600 pages) and then it was due at the library. I'll come back to it one of these days.
Read it following Saturday Review feature when the book first came out. My intro to Strachey and Bloomsbury.
Mei Yau
May 17, 2012 Mei Yau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A masterpiece of detail and pacing.
Jan 03, 2016 Lehtomaki rated it it was amazing
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Michael Holroyd is the author of acclaimed biographies of George Bernard Shaw, the painter Augustus John, Lytton Strachey, and Ellen Terry and Henry Irving, as well as two memoirs, Basil Street Blues and Mosaic. Knighted for his services to literature, he is the president emeritus of the Royal Society of Literature and the only nonfiction writer to have been awarded the David Cohen British Prize f ...more
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