"This biography meticulously fleshes out Bell's family relations, aesthetic efforts, and social and political commitments. . . It was a life marked by a redemptive courage, and it was, as Stansky and Abrahams show, a rich liferich in the living, and rich in the telling."Todd Avery, Virginia Woolf Miscellany
"Stansky is also very good at showing Bell resisting as well as being a direct exemplar of Bloomsbury ideas, ideals, and habits, and also as one who breaks from these . . . [Bell] offers an excellent lens on both the Bloomsbury topsoil and the roots below . . . [A] text that affords, in nearly equal measure, instruction, pathos, and pleasure."Judith Scherer Herz, English in Translation
"Peter Stansky's biography gives weight to the argument that Julian's life, though it was short and not as accomplished as others in Bloomsbury, was significant. He was to be reckoned withnot only as an adventurous young man passionate about fighting fascism like many of his generation in the 1930sbut as a corrective to Bloomsbury's narrowness of vision about what values count in a life . . . Stansky astutely, honestly and sympathetically presents a new portrait of Julian Bell, psychologically and emotionally shadowed by his eminent family and their friends in perhaps the most important intellectual circle in twentieth-century England."Patricia Laurence, Cercles: Revue pluridisciplinaire du monde anglophone
"The writers do a fine job of excerpting poems, letters, and essays to give a sense of Bell's thinking . . . [Julian Bell is] full of fresh information, [and] is particularly rich."Charles Oberndorf, The Volunteer
"An intergenerational conversation, between the younger and the older Peter Stansky, as well as between Julian Bell and his elders in the Bloomsbury Group. A new Julian Bell emergeseven franker about his physical and emotional needs, even more frustrated by claustrophobic Englandwhich makes more telling and inevitable his spectacular end on the battlefields of Spain. A beautiful, tragic book."Peter Mandler, University of Cambridge
About the Author
Peter Stansky and William Abrahams wrote four books together, including Journey to the Frontier, a study of John Cornford and Julian Bell. The late William Abrahams went on to be one of the most distinguished editors of the century; Peter Stansky became Frances and Charles Field Professor of History at Stanford University.