Bloomsbury and the Poets by Nicholas Murray

It’s at times like this that I get really frustrated by my scatty brain because for the life of me I can’t recall where it was that I stumbled across mention of this little book/let. However, I obviously did and sent off for it, because I’ve read and am about to write about it!

bloomsb poets

Front and back covers

“Bloomsbury and the Poets” obviously attracted me by its title; it’s published by Rack Press Editions and contains 40-odd pages packed with info about the places that famous writers lived in and around the Bloomsbury area in London. So we hear about rugged South African poet Roy Campbell sharing a house with the geeky Aldous Huxley; Rimbaud and his sister Vitalie staying near King’s Cross (and her account of their visit sounds very much like it would be worth reading); and touchingly about Charlotte Mew and the family parrot Wek.

The book touches on the wedding of Ted and Sylvia; the death of Andrew Marvell; and T.S. Eliot’s workplace. Really, it’s amazing that so many facts are packed into one small volume, and you could make yourself several itineraries to visit the places where the great and not-so-great have hung out. Author Nicholas Murray has written a number of books, including a very well-regarded Huxley biog which looks intriguing, so I guess he has quite an interest in the area.

If I had one quibble, it would be that I would have loved to have a little map with all the locations marked on it because my geography is abysmal! But Murray certainly knows his stuff and I may well be seen staggering around Bloomsbury in future with a map in one hand and a small green book in the other….. πŸ™‚