Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932

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Lytton Strachey was born to an upper-middle class family in London, and educated at Cambridge, where he was part of the rebellious Apostles, a precursor to the Bloomsbury Group. Strachey became an essayist and literary critic; he also wrote poetry, but is best remembered as a biographer. Although he wrote some conventional biographies, his best work was Eminent Victorians, a collection of biographical essays that relied on Strachey's trademark psychological insight rather than exhaustive research, an influential approach that made reading biography more entertaining and helped energize the genre. Strachey's personal life, always influenced by his homosexuality, was unconventional and often unsatisfying.

From the description of Lytton Strachey notes, portrait, and signed quotation, 1924-1930. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 72827711

British author.

From the description of Lytton Strachey papers, 1921-1953. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 20400099

Lytton Strachey was a British essayist, poet, and literary critic.

From the description of Lytton Strachey collection of papers, 1904-1934. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122596805

From the guide to the Lytton Strachey collection of papers, 1904-1934, (The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.)

English author.

From the description of Autograph letters signed (2) : Mill House, Tidmarsh, Pangbourne, to unidentified recipients, 1920 Nov. 3 and 1922 June 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270872310

English biographer.

From the description of Lytton Strachey Collection, 1885-1957. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 145406427

Giles Lytton Strachey was born in 1880, the eleventh of thirteen children, to General Sir Richard Strachey and his wife Jane Grant. Though he spent some years at boarding schools, including Abbotsholme and Leamington College, he received much of his education at home. His mother enjoyed strong interests in literature and politics and Strachey met many of the leading writers and thinkers of the day when they came to visit Lady Strachey. Strachey's secondary education was completed at University College in Liverpool where he studied Latin, Greek, mathematics, and English literature and history. It was at University College that he met and was influenced by Walter Raleigh, a professor of English literature and well known biographer.

After failing to receive a scholarship to Oxford in 1899, Strachey decided to attend Cambridge where he developed many friendships which lasted the rest of his life. At Cambridge he met Clive Bell, Thoby Stephen, and Leonard Woolf, with whom he started the Midnight Society and the X Society. Along with many other future Bloomsberries he was elected to the Apostles. In 1903 fellow Apostle G.E. Moore's Principia Ethica was published, producing a profound effect on the aspiring intellectuals. Principia became a rationalizing factor in loosening the repression of homosexual tendencies among the Apostles and in Trinity and King's College as well.

Strachey completed his work at Cambridge with a thesis on Warren Hastings but failed to receive a Trinity fellowship. He returned to his parents' home in Lancaster Gate and sought to support himself as a journalist. Much of his social life centered on the Bloomsbury group which focused on the Thursday night at-homes of the Stephenses (Thoby, Adrian, Vanessa [Bell], and Virginia [Woolf]). Over the next several years Strachey traveled, visited friends and wrote his first book, Landmarks in French Literature (1912) which was commissioned by H.A.L. Fisher. In 1910 Strachey made the acquaintance of Ottoline Morrell with whom he carried on a playful and extended correspondence over the years. Through Morrell he met Henry Lamb and Henry Norton, who loaned him £100 to rent a cottage so he could begin his next major work, Eminent Victorians (1918). In 1915 Strachey met Dora Carrington, a graduate of the Slade School of Art and the woman who would shortly devote herself to him for the rest of his life.

In 1917 Strachey and Carrington moved into a cottage in Tidemarsh, Oxfordshire, and continued to carry on with their personal lives. Carrington maintained a relationship with fellow artist Mark Gertler before marrying Ralph Partridge in 1921, and Strachey moved through a series of relationships as well. Strachey's time at Tidemarsh cottage was also spent productively writing. He followed Eminent Victorians with Queen Victoria (1921) and produced a collection of essays, Books and Characters as well. His style was becoming very popular and he began to achieve a measure of fame which allowed him to support himself and his household from the proceeds of his writing. In 1924 Strachey purchased the lease to Ham Spray House and he, along with Carrington and Partridge, moved in. He completed Elizabeth and Essex in 1928 and started The Greville Memoirs which were completed posthumously by Ralph and Frances Partridge and Roger Fulford.

Though his frequent ill-health often made it difficult, Strachey enjoyed traveling and made several trips abroad between 1928 and 1931. Late in 1931 he began to decline rapidly from an illness which doctors were unable to identify. He died January 21, 1932, of what was later found to be stomach cancer. Carrington committed suicide a few weeks later, unable to live without him.

From the guide to the Lytton Strachey Collection TCRC98-A26., 1885-1957, (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932,. Autograph letter signed from Giles Lytton Strachey, Hungerford, Berkshire, to Sir Edmund Gosse [manuscript], 1928 April 25. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. Autograph letter signed : La Maison Blanche [Saint-Tropez], to John Maynard Keynes, [1921?] Dec. 17. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Waterlow, Sydney, 1878-1944. Letters, 1910-1917. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn Guérard, Albert Léon, 1880-1959. Albert Léon Guérard papers, 1909-1959. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Bell, Clive, 1881-1964. Letters to Saxon Sydney-Turner, 1905-1915. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Autograph Letter Collection: Strachey Letters, 1805-1962 The Women' s Library
referencedIn Virginia Woolf Monk's House photograph album (MH-4), 1890-1947 (inclusive), 1923-1939 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Lytton Strachey Collection, 1885-1957. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Paul Revere Reynolds Papers, 1899-1980. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941. Virginia Woolf papers, 1902-1956. Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Letter : Manchester, to Laurence Housman, 1909 June 23. Bryn Mawr College, Mariam Coffin Canaday Library
referencedIn Milton, George-Merritt. The Bloomsburys and supporting cast, a collection of paintings, books and papers, 1882-1979. Florida State University
referencedIn Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. Autograph letter signed : Bosham, to John Maynard Keynes, [1915 Aug.?]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932,. Autograph letter signed from Giles Lytton Strachey, Hungerford, Berkshire, to Sir Edmund Gosse [manuscript], 1928 April 25. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Partridge, Ralph. Studies in English letters on Lytton Strachey. University of San Francisco, Gleeson Library/Charles and Nancy Geschke Learning Resource Center
creatorOf Morrell, Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish-Bentinck, Lady, 1873-1938. Ottoline Morrell Collection, 1882-1946 (bulk 1882-1938). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Autograph letter signed : Keswick, to E. McKnight Kauffer, 1921 Aug. 14. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963. Aldous Huxley oral history papers 1985-1990. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Norman Douglas collection, 1864-1967, 1920-1950 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Brownell, Gladys M., 1904-1985,. Collection of papers by Bloomsbury authors, 1913-1959. Mount Holyoke College, Williston & Miles-Smith Library
referencedIn Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. Autograph letters (83) and postcards (3), signed mainly with initials, and a telegram : Gordon Square (London) to John Maynard Keynes, 1907-1936. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Taylor, Robert H., collector. Robert H. Taylor collection of English and American literature, [1280s]-1950 (bulk 1800s-1930s) Princeton University Library
referencedIn Beck, Maeve Butler, 1881-1941. Maeve Butler Beck Virginia Woolf/Bloomsbury collection, 1921-1978 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Autograph File, S, 1556-1996. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Editorial correspondence, 1904-1930. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Sir William Rothenstein correspondence and other papers, 1887-1957. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Letters from various correspondents, 1921-1951. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Senhouse, Roger. Roger Senhouse fonds. [1917-1968]. University of Victoria Libraries, UVic
referencedIn Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941. Virginia Woolf Monk's House photograph album (MH-3), 1863-1938 (inclusive), 1890-1933 (bulk). Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Autograph letter signed : the Lacket, Lockeridge, Marlborough, to Clive Bell, 1913 Nov. 25. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Douglas, Norman, 1868-1952. Norman Douglas collection, 1864-1967 (bulk 1920-1950). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Letter : Hungerford, Berks, to Crosby Gaige, New York, 1928 Dec. 31. Bryn Mawr College, Mariam Coffin Canaday Library
referencedIn Carey, Graham. Clippings, 1925-1931. University of Notre Dame, Hesburgh Library
referencedIn Collection of papers by Bloomsbury authors MS 0020., 1913-1959. Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
referencedIn Virginia Woolf collection of papers, 1882-1984, 1912-1940 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. Autograph letter signed : La Bergère [Cassis], to John Maynard Keynes, [1928?] May 14. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Autograph letters signed (2) : Mill House, Tidmarsh, Pangbourne, to unidentified recipients, 1920 Nov. 3 and 1922 June 15. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Strachey Family Papers, 1656-1999 The Women' s Library
referencedIn Monks House Papers: papers of Virginia Woolf and related papers of Leonard Woolf, 1903-1997 University of Sussex Library
referencedIn Donald and Katharine Foley Collection of Penguin Books, 1935-1965 Bancroft Library
creatorOf Lascelles, Alan, Sir, 1887-1981. Letters to Raymond Gorges: [manuscript], 1928-1944. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Warren Hastings, Cheyt Singh, and the Begums of Oude, 1764-1784 : manuscript, [1903?]. Princeton University Library
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Manuscript notes for Warren Hastings, [1903?]. Princeton University Library
referencedIn Bell, Clive, 1881-1964. Collection of five autograph letters signed : Melksham [Wiltshire], Charleston [Firle], and Bloomsbury [London], to Vita Sackville-West, 1927 June 4-Sept. 27 and undated. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Correspondence, 1924-1927. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941. Virginia Woolf Monk's House photograph album (MH-2), 1909-1922 and undated. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Brooke, Rupert, 1887-1915. Rupert Brooke collection of papers, [1905]-[1937] bulk (1912-1929). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. Autograph letter signed : Charleston [Lewes], to John Maynard Keynes, [1918 Aug.?]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Carrington, Dora de Houghton, 1893-1932. Dora Carrington Collection, 1912-1965. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Houghton Library printed book provenance file, R-Z, and unidentified. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941. Virginia Woolf Monk's House photograph album (MH-4), 1890-1947 (inclusive), 1923-1939 (bulk). Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Sanders, Charles Richard, 1904-. Papers, 1922-1985. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn John Middleton Murry collection of papers, 1911?]-1962 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
creatorOf Lytton Strachey collection of papers, 1904-1934 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Virginia Woolf Monk's House photograph album (MH-2), 1909-1922 and undated. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Dame Edith Sitwell collection of papers, 1926-1965 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Lytton Strachey papers, 1921-1953. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Forster, E.M. (Edward Morgan), 1879-1970. Letters to John Collier. Dorking, England. 1930-1935. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Talmage, Clyde. Under the ilex : a play based on the love of Carrington for Lytton Strachey / by Clyde Talmage, 1984. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Lindsay, Vachel, 1879-1931. Letter, 1922 August 9, New York, to [Lytton?] Strachey [manuscript]. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. Autograph letter signed : Asheham [Lewes], to John Maynard Keynes, 1914? Sept. 28. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Hutchinson, Mary, 1889-1977. Mary Hutchinson Papers, 1910-1977. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Papers of Virginia Woolf MS 1., 1902-1956 Mortimer Rare Book Room
referencedIn MacCarthy mss., 1863-1991 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941. Virginia Woolf collection of papers, 1882-1984 bulk (1912-1940). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn The Charleston Papers, [c1865]-1891; 1897-1964 University of Sussex Library
creatorOf Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. T.S. Eliot collection of papers, 1918-1989 bulk (1918-1957). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Ottoline Morrell Collection TXRC98-A17., 1882-1946, (bulk 1882-1938) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Autograph letter signed from Lytton Strachey, Hungerford, G.W.R., to John Lehmann, London [manuscript], 1931 November 5. University of Oklahoma, Bizzell Memorial Library
referencedIn T. S. Eliot collection of papers, 1918-1989, 1918-1957 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Flagg, Mildred Buchanan, 1886-1980. Papers, 1876-1955 (inclusive), 1900-1955 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Lytton Strachey notes, portrait, and signed quotation, 1924-1930. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Lytton Strachey collection of papers, 1904-1934. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Virginia Woolf Monk's House photograph album (MH-3), 1863-1938 (inclusive), 1890-1933 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Kallich, Martin, 1918-. Papers of Martin Kallich [manuscript] 1949-56. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Letters, 1918-1922. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1911. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Reynolds, Paul Revere, 1864-1944. Records, 1899-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932. Autograph letter signed : Tidmarsh, to Duncan Grant, 1918 May 19. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Fry, Roger Eliot, 1866-1934. An archive of Bloomsbury photographs and negatives, 1908-1965 bulk (1910-1913) . New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Laborde, M. de (Jean-Benjamin), 1734-1794. Autograph letter signed, dated : Fontainebleau Nov. 19 1765, to [Voltaire], 1765 Nov. 19. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Rupert Brooke collection of papers, 1905]-[1937, 1912-1929 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
creatorOf Woolf, Leonard, 1880-1969. Insert Papers, 1875-1974. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn Leonard and Virginia Woolf Insert Papers, circa 1875-1974 Washington State University Libraries: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
referencedIn Mary Hutchinson Papers TXRC98-A20., 1910-1977 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Benjamin H. Lehman Papers Bancroft Library
referencedIn Dora Carrington Collection TXRC98-A18., 1912-1965 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Lytton Strachey Collection TCRC98-A26., 1885-1957 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barnett, H. Walter (Henry Walter), 1862-1934, person
associatedWith Beaverbrook, Max Aitken, Baron, 1879-1964. person
associatedWith Beck, Maeve Butler, 1881-1941. person
associatedWith Beerbohm, Max, Sir, 1872-1956. person
associatedWith Bell, (Arthur) Clive (Heward), 1881-1964; Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961; Jackson, Maria, d. 1891? person
associatedWith Bell, Clive, 1881-1964. person
associatedWith Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. person
associatedWith Brooke, Rupert, 1887-1915. person
correspondedWith Brownell, Gladys M., 1904-1985 person
associatedWith Carey, Graham. person
associatedWith Carrington, Dora de Houghton, 1893-1932 person
associatedWith Chatto & Windus (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith Daniell, John C. person
associatedWith Douglas, Norman, 1868-1952. person
associatedWith Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. person
associatedWith Flagg, Mildred Buchanan, 1886-1980. person
associatedWith Foley, Donald L. person
associatedWith Foley, Katharine person
associatedWith Forster, E.M. (Edward Morgan), 1879-1970. person
associatedWith Gaige, Crosby, 1882-1949. person
associatedWith Glasberg, V. person
associatedWith Gosse, Edmund, 1849-1928 person
associatedWith Grant, Duncan, 1885-1978. person
associatedWith Guérard, Albert Léon, 1880-1959. person
associatedWith Hackett, Francis, 1883-1962. person
associatedWith Hastings, Warren, 1732-1818. person
associatedWith Houghton, James R., person
associatedWith Houghton, James R., Mrs, person
associatedWith Houghton Library. person
associatedWith Housman, Laurence, 1865-1959. person
associatedWith Hutchinson, Mary, 1889-1977 person
associatedWith Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963. person
associatedWith Kallich, Martin, 1918- person
associatedWith Kauffer, E. McKnight (Edward McKnight), 1890- person
associatedWith Keynes, John Maynard, 1883-1946. person
associatedWith Laborde, M. de (Jean-Benjamin), 1734-1794. person
associatedWith Leach, Henry Goddard, 1880-1970 person
correspondedWith Lehman, B. H. (Benjamin Harrison), 1889-1977 person
associatedWith Lehmann, John, 1907- person
associatedWith Lindsay, Vachel, 1879-1931. person
associatedWith MacCarthy, Desmond, 1877-1952 person
associatedWith Milton, George-Merritt. person
associatedWith Morrell, Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish-Bentinck, Lady, 1873-1938 person
associatedWith Murry, John Middleton, 1889-1957 person
associatedWith Partridge, Ralph. person
associatedWith Partridge, Ralph. person
associatedWith Pforzheimer, Arthur. person
associatedWith Reynolds, Paul Revere, 1864-1944. person
correspondedWith Rothenstein, William, Sir, 1872-1945 person
associatedWith Rylands, George, 1902-1999. person
associatedWith Sackville-West, Edward, Hon., 1901-1965. person
associatedWith Sanders, Charles Richard, 1904- person
associatedWith Senhouse, Roger. person
associatedWith Sitwell, Edith, 1887-1964. person
associatedWith Strachey, James, person
associatedWith Strachey, Lady (Jane Maria), 1840-1928 person
associatedWith Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932, person
associatedWith Strachey, Richard, Sir, 1817-1908 person
associatedWith Talmage, Clyde. person
associatedWith Taylor, Robert H., person
associatedWith Taylor, Robert H., collector. person
associatedWith Thomas, Dylan, 1914-1953 person
associatedWith Trevelyan, R. C. (Robert Calverley), 1872-1951. person
associatedWith Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901 person
associatedWith Waterlow, Sydney, 1878-1944. person
associatedWith Woolf, Leonard, 1880-1969 person
associatedWith Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Great Britain
Great Britain
United States
Subject
Book collectors
Women--Suffrage
Authors, English--20th century--Correspondence
Literature--History and criticism
Biography
World War, 1914-1918--Art and the war
Authors, British--Manuscripts
Authors and publishers
Male authors, English--Correspondence--20th century
Bloomsbury group--Sources
Bloomsbury group
Nature (Aesthetics)--Satire
World War, 1914-1918--Conscientious objectors
Authors, British--Correspondence
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1880-03-01

Death 1932-01-21

Britons

English

Information

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