The Bloomsbury Group was a group of friends—writers, artists, and intellectuals that included the likes of Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, and Art Bell—who gathered regularly in London’s Bloomsbury neighborhood during the first half of the 20th century. They were highly influential modern literati who rebelled against the conservative constraints of the earlier Victorian period, while simultaneously having the comforts and privileges of the upper class. Nowhere is the tension between modern, bohemian ideas and the constrictions of high society more evident than in E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View.
I read A Room with a View as part of my exploration of the works of Bloomsbury members and enjoyed it immensely. I see it as a coming of age novel, with the main character, Lucy Honeychurch, struggling to understand what she wants versus what society expects of her as she becomes an adult. Lucy’s trip to Italy and a chance meeting with a young socialist at her hotel set off a chain of events that alters the course of her life. It’s quick, uplifting read.