Biographical Portrayals in Strachey’s Eminent Victorians and Keynes’s Biography of Isaac Newton

Biographical Portrayals in Strachey’s Eminent Victorians and Keynes’s Biography of Isaac Newton

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Biographical Portrayals in Strachey’s Eminent Victorians and Keynes’s Biography of Isaac Newton

The Bloomsbury notion of biography moved against what was the predominant norms of biography at the time. Iconoclastic in all their efforts, the Bloomsbury writers did an interesting thing regarding biography. In both Lytton Strachey’s portrayal of Florence Nightingale from Eminent Victorians and Maynard Keynes’s brief portrait of Isaac Newton, they strive to reinsert the iconoclastic into figures that have become so mainstream as to be banal in their eyes. There is an ironic derision of the stereotypes both figures have become alongside an enormous amount of respect for the non-stereotypical aspects of their character that made these figures as great as they were.

Strachey’s Eminent Victorians could be summarized as an attempt to demonstrate the ways in which the key figures of the Victorian era were not as Victorian as one might assume. Florence Nightingale, in particular, could not be seen, through Strachey’s eyes at least, as simply the “Lady with the Lamp” seeking ...

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