Schooling: Brighton, St. Paul's, Trinity College at Cambridge. Traveled to Ceylon as a civil servant in 1904, there to remain until 1911. Upon returning to England, he began courting Virginia Stephen, with the encouragement of her sister Vanessa and his close friend Lytton Strachey.
"[...] it would be wrong to think of him as one so cerebral
in his approach to life as to be quite separated from his fellows
by a 'superior' Cambridge arrogance. [...] If he ever had that
quality he lost it in Ceylon. I have only to recall the many times
that I myself have heard him, patiently, quietly, without the
faintest air of condescension or of 'side', explaining to the
Rodmell Labour Party some difficult question concerning the League
Covenant or the taxation of land. He had only one aim in view,
to make a difficult proposition clear; there was an honesty and
a simplicity about him to which those audiences responded. His
clarity gave them greater acuteness than they knew themselves
to possess; his manifest sincerity was entirely lovable."