Among the Bohemians – Virginia Nicholson

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Goodreads Synopsis: They ate garlic and didn’t always bathe; they listened to Wagner and worshiped Diaghilev; they sent their children to coeducational schools, explored homosexuality and free love, vegetarianism and Post-impressionism. They were often drunk and broke, sometimes hungry, but they were of a rebellious spirit. Inhabiting the same England with Philistines and Puritans, this parallel minority of moral pioneers lived in a world of faulty fireplaces, bounced checks, blocked drains, whooping cough, and incontinent cats.

They were the bohemians.

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I’ve always been fond of Bohemianism, so that’s why this book appealed to me. I also love reading books about authors and artists and creators, I find it can be very inspiring.

I certainly learned a lot reading  Among Bohemians. It was interesting to learn about all the different quirks of this group of creators, some of it made sense to me and some of it was just weird. But all of it was fascinating to read about.  I learned a lot about the way the Bohemians raised their children, how they were raised and why and how they were trying to be different.  And overall I liked the writing style, and felt like the author did a fairly good job of being unbiased. Despite being the daughter of Quentin Bell.

I would have given this book more stars if it hadn’t been for the use of racial slurs. I know that this book was published in 2005, but surely even then the author and editors should have known better than to include slurs for Romani people. It’s just not necessary. So I would definitely warn you all that those are in there.

Besides that, it also frustrated me the way the author treated the non-monogamous relationships. I know this is probably an old complaint from me, but I try to be honest in my reviews even if it’s a little repetitive. Not every non-monogamous relationship turns out good for the people involved, I get that. But I just hate when the authors are clearly biased, and act like the people were stupid for trying something different.

In the end I gave this book 3 stars.

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