Lytton Strachey

Author: Lytton Strachey

Profile: Giles Lytton Strachey better known as Lytton Strachey was an English writer and critic. He was born in London, England and died in Ham, Wiltshire, England. He completed his studies at the University of Liverpool and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was author of Eminent Victorians and founding member of the Bloomsbury Group. The James Tait Black Memorial Prize was awarded to his biography Queen Victoria (1921). It was after the early 16th century Giles Strachey and the first Earl of Lytton that he was named ‘Giles Lytton’. Lytton Strachey’s godfather was Earl of Lytton. His family moved to 69 Lancaster Gate, north of Kensington Gardens when Giles was 4 years old and stayed on there for two decades till the retirement of Sir Richard.

His mother was keen on literature and languages and made her kids write down verses and perform their own plays from a very early age. She had the belief that Giles would become a great artist and accordingly he began learning French by 1887, he was to admire French culture all through his life. Giles studied at many schools starting at Parkstone, Dorset. Not only did he excel in acting skills but proved to be especially convincing while portraying female parts. He expressed to his mother his desire of dressing up like a woman in real life to entertain and confuse others. She sent him to Abbotsholme School in Rocester, Derbyshire in 1893 when she made a decision that Giles should begin with serious education. He studied at the University of Liverpool and Trinity College, Cambridge

Writing style: Giles Lytton Strachey is popularly known for the establishment of a new biography form in which sympathy and psychological insight are combined with wit and irreverence.

Published Texts:

Academic works and biographies

1912 – Landmarks in French Literature

1918 – Eminent Victorians: Cardinal Manning, Florence Nightingale, Dr. Arnold, General Gordon

1921 – Queen Victoria

1922 – Books and Characters

1928 – Elizabeth and Essex: A Tragic History

1931 – Portraits in Miniature and Other Essays

Posthumous publications

1933 – Characters and Commentaries

1964 – Spectarial Essays

1969 – Ermyntrude and Esmeralda

1971 – Lytton Strachey by Himself: A Self-Portrait

1972 – The Really Interesting Question and Other Papers

1980 – The Shorter Strachey

2005 – The Letters of Lytton Strachey

2011 – Unpublished Works of Lytton Strachey: Early Papers

Awards and Acknowledgements:

Jonathan Pryce portrayed Strachey in the film Carrington (1995) which won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival that year in which Pryce too won the Best Actor Award for his performance.

James Fleet portrayed Strachey in the film Al sur de Granada (2003)

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