These highly original essays illuminate Virginia Woolf and a selection of other twentieth-century writers and artists. Based on detailed research and presenting previously unpublished texts, pictures, and photographs, they are notable feats of scholarly detective work. Six of them focus on four pivotal members of the Bloomsbury Group - Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Clive Bell, and Roger Fry. Prominent ingredients of their story include art, writing, friendship, love, sex, mental illness, and Greek travel. The five 'out of Bloomsbury' essays are about the 'new' letters from the novelist Rose Macaulay to the Irish poet Katharine Tynan; the prodigious teenage talents of Dorothy L. Sayers; the remarkable story of Tolkien's schoolmaster R. W. Reynolds; and the artist Tristram Hillier in Portugal. The collection creates a richly varied and entertaining picture of British culture in the first half of the twentieth century.