Life in Squares: why the Bloomsbury group’s talents are wasted on the box

“The Bloomsbury set defied convention in their morals,” the Daily Mail enthused uncharacteristically ahead of Life in Squares, “and blazed a trail with their take on design.” Promising to show readers “how to get the literary look”, the article neatly encapsulated the group’s appeal. Why the Bloomsbury group crop up so often on screen has very little to do with their books or paintings: they are feted as lifestyle pioneers, with their modernity as polymorphous lovers and avant-garde designers charmingly offset by their plummy voices and period clothes. The literary or artistic stuff is once again just a bonus in BBC2’s Life in Squares, which sensibly sticks to the rules established by previous portrayals of them on screen:

1. The group should never actually be shown in Bloomsbury

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