Life in Squares: About Your Father…

Vanessa-Duncan-Virginia-CharlestonPreviously on Life in Squares: Vanessa decided it would be a good idea for her and Duncan to have a kid together, so they did.

‘Everyone should be free to live as they please, otherwise we might as well be our parents.’

‘We took it on, didn’t we, marriage? We made it into something quite different. Can you do the same with death?’

The family’s relaxing in the garden on a lovely afternoon. Julian dashes off to answer the phone and Leonard asks if Julian’s still considering heading off to Spain, which is right in the middle of a bit of a civil war just now. Vanessa says he’s mentioned it, but he should really just rest now.

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Life in Squares: Loving in Triangles

Previously on Life in Squares: The Stephens family became the nucleus of the early Bloomsbury Group, which included Clive Bell, who married Vanessa Stephens, and Duncan Grant, who became very attached to Vanessa as well, despite being homosexual.

‘Let me remind you that I’m not the marrying sort.’

‘Not an easy feat keeping Roger as a friend and Clive as a husband and Duncan as…?’

In the 1920s and in 1912, Vanessa and Clive are preparing for a party. In 1912, it’s Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s wedding, which the Bells are hosting. Would have been nice to see how Virginia came to embrace marriage, but since this mostly seems to be Vanessa’s story, I can understand the oversight. There’s some good-natured ribbing amongst the group, but Vanessa seems glum and removes herself to her studio to be a little depressed. Duncan comes in and asks to see some of her more recent work. He asks if she’s sad to lose a sister and she riposts that she’s ‘gaining a Leonard’ and suggests playfully that they find someone for Duncan next. He reminds her that he’s not the marrying sort. They return to the dining room, which is a cozy little domestic scene of friends being friends together.

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Life in Squares: The Price of Love

Life-in-Squares-323242Pull on your bluestockings and open your marriage, it’s time to join the Bloomsbury Group!

‘Is it true what I hear, Thoby, that you’re running some sort of degenerate salon?’

‘To friendship: that rarest good deed in the naughtiest of worlds.’

We join the Stephens family while they’re clearly in mourning, and poor Vanessa’s being bored to death by some loser who can’t shut up about trout fishing. Later, her aunt, who clearly set up this awful date, scolds Vanessa for not being a bit more forthcoming, before turning to their brother, Thoby, and telling him that it’s not quite proper for his two sisters to be unchaperoned in the wake of their father’s death. Thoby reminds the woman that he’s totally respectable—a lawyer and everything—and everyone chimes in to say that Virginia’s unstable mind isn’t so wavering these days, so everything’s fine, just fine! Auntie gets in a jab at Vanessa for her painting before leaving.

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