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Lead book review

Good stories of bad Bloomsbury behaviour

Bunny Garnett and Henrietta Bingham may have been borderline members of the Group, but they made up for it with their scandalous escapades, as Sarah Knights and Emily Bingham reveal

27 June 2015

9:00 AM

27 June 2015

9:00 AM

Bloomsbury Outsider: A Life of David Garnett Sarah Knights

Bloomsbury, pp.632, £19.99, ISBN: 9781448215454

Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham Emily Bingham

Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, pp.384, £18.99,, ISBN: 9780809094646

In March 1923 a large birthday party was held in a studio in Bloomsbury. It is often assumed that the eponymous Group was habitually glum or intense; but there were a lot of parties. The artists were Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and the birthday was David Garnett’s 31st. David (known as Bunny) was a handsome, fair-haired fellow of bisexual charm, beloved by Grant, among others.

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'Bloomsbury Outsider: A Life of David Garnett', £16.99 and 'Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham', £16.99 are available from the Spectator Bookshop, Tel: 08430 600033. Anne Chisholm is the biographer of Frances Partridge and co-author of The Bloomsbury Cookbook.

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