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Bloomsbury letters go for 50,000

3 September 09 16:24 GMT

A collection of hundreds of previously unpublished letters written by members of the Bloomsbury Group has fetched £50,000 at an auction in East Sussex.

The letters, from 1919 to 1947, are between Helen Anrep and members such as Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.

The group consisted of artists, writers and intellectuals who lived, worked or studied near Bloomsbury in London.

The collection was sold to London-based book dealers Bernard Quaritch on behalf of an unnamed client.

More than 700 letters were auctioned at Gorringes Auctioneers, in Lewes.

'Incredible fascination'

Spokeswoman Francesca Collin said: "We are very glad that the letters are going to be staying in this country and hopefully be made available to the public.

"There was a lot of interest both in the sale room and during the viewing period, with lots of people visiting to look through the collection.

"It just goes to show that there remains an incredible fascination with the Bloomsbury Group."

Although not an artist or intellectual, Helen Anrep, who died in 1965, was deeply interested in the arts and became a close friend and confidante of many in the group.

She became involved with the circle in the mid-1920s, and left her husband to live with one of the group, Roger Fry.

The content of the letters covers a broad range of topics, from family news, recipes and comments on gardening to more emotional and personal issues.

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