Lytton Strachey
1880-1932
  Raised at Lancaster Gate, father was a general. Eleventh child of 13. He was schooled at Leamington College, Liverpool University College, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the Apostles and a close friend of Leonard Woolf. Perhaps the most free-thinking of the early group, Lytton introduced the use of first names amongst the Cambridge friends and first broached the taboo subject of sex by pointing at a stain on Vanessa's dress and asking, "Semen?" His work in the field of biography was similarly groundbreaking, subjecting figures previously revered to an uncompromising scrutiny. Though he was homosexual, the most lasting intimate relationship of his life was with the painter Dora Carrington, who deeply loved him and lived with him from 1917 until his death, first at Tidmarsh, Berkshire, then Ham Spray, where they were joined for a time by Carrington's husband, Ralph Partridge. Shortly after Lytton died of stomach cancer, Carrington committed suicide, unable to bear the thought of life without him.

"The duality of his temperament found a parallel in certain physical characteristics. He spoke with two voices. The one tiny as that of the gnat in Alice and Wonderland; the other grave and deep. [...] There was a similar contrast in his demeanor; an extreme passivity bordering on lassitude was apt to be broken by the most fantastic gesticulation when he repudiated some enormity or hailed an extravagance that delighted him."
— Desmond MacCarthy, from Memories (1953)

Published works:
Landmarks in French Literature (1912)
Eminent Victorians: Cardinal Manning, Florence Nightingale, Dr. Arnold, General Gordon (1918)
Queen Victoria (1921)
Books and Characters, French and English (1922)
Elizabeth and Essex: A Tragic History (1928)
Portraits in Miniature and Other Essays (1931)
Characters and Commentaries (ed. James Strachey, 1933)
Spectatorial Essays (ed. James Strachey, 1964)
Ermyntrude and Esmeralda (1969)
Lytton Strachey by Himself: A Self Portrait (ed. Michael Holroyd, 1971)
The Really Interesting Question and Other Papers (ed. Paul Levy, 1972)

Links:
Eminent Victorians at Bartleby.com
Information about the movie Carrington (1995) at the IMDb
Lytton Strachey Collection at the University of Texas




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