Monday, January 21, 2008

Lytton Strachey

Today is the anniversary of the death of Lytton Strachey in Hungerford, Berkshire. I first encountered Lytton Strachey and his fascinating life almost forty years ago when I read Michael Holroyd's masterful two volume biography of his life. This was the first biography by Michael Holroyd that I read and it was a great introduction to both Strachey and the biographer. I remember how easily I digested the long (two volumes in the original edition) biography because the life was both intensely interesting and the biography well-written. Holroyd set a new standard for biography incorporating the cultural milieu of the subject and exhibiting high standards of research. This along with his readable writing style made the work a triumph for Holroyd who went on to write of other artists including Augustus John. Holroyd's original work on Strachey was updated in the nineteen nineties and remains the standard.

Lytton Strachey; a critical biography by Michael Holroyd. New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston [1968, c1967] 2 v. illus. [1st ed.]

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