By Virginia Nicholson
They ate garlic and did not regularly shower; they listened to Wagner and worshiped Diaghilev; they despatched their teenagers to coeducational faculties, explored homosexuality and loose love, vegetarianism and Post-impressionism. They have been frequently inebriated and broke, occasionally hungry, yet they have been of a rebellious spirit. Inhabiting a similar England with Philistines and Puritans, this parallel minority of ethical pioneers lived in an international of defective fireplaces, bounced tests, blocked drains, whooping cough, and incontinent cats.
They have been the bohemians.
Virginia Nicholson -- the granddaughter of painter Vanessa Bell and the great-niece of Virginia Woolf -- explores the subversive, eccentric, and flamboyant creative neighborhood of the early 20th century during this "wonderfully researched and colourful composite portrait of an enigmatic global whose individuals, simply because they lived via no ideas, are tough to signify" (San Francisco Chronicle).
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Extra resources for Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939
Evenings of Friendliness What do Bohemians want out of life? 舑 ha party an occasion for the observation of the rules of society? 舑 How can one entertain with no money? 舑 Must guests know each other, or their hosts? 舑 What kind of behaviour is acceptable at parties? 舑 How have pubs and clubs changed their status? 舑 Is it necessary to stay sober? 舑 Is it all worth it in the end? Epilogue Appendix A: Monetary Equivalents Appendix B: Dramatis Personae Notes on Sources Select Bibliography Acknowledgements Index List of Illustrations Section 1 Augustus John, Norfolk, 1909 (photograph National Portrait Gallery, London; copyright reserved) Cafȳ scene from H.
Are creativity and cookery compatible? 舑 Where do Bohemians dine out? 舑 Is it possible to eat on an artist舗s income? 舑 Why must women prepare meals? 7. New Brooms Must women give all their time to housework? 舑 How can one cope with housework without modern machinery? 舑 Is an experimental lifestyle compatible with having servants? 舑 What are the advantages of remaining dirty? 舑 Must one have baths? 舑 Can one admit to the existence of lavatories? 舑 Must creativity be sacrificed for the sake of cleanliness and order?
A well-disposed dentist appears to have accepted paintings in return for dentures in St Ives. * Lilian Bomberg started a greengrocer舗s shop which foundered through lack of custom: the strait-laced locals were deterred by the sight of Bomberg舗s Bohemian garb as he perched on a ladder painting the sign to hang above it. And the poet Liam O舗Flaherty took up catering: [We舗re] setting up 舖tea-rooms舗 in this house, giving teas to tourists. Crowds of people come up to see the mountains in summer, so they will probably make the thing pay.