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Saxon Arnold Sydney-Turner

(1880-1962), Civil servant

Sitter associated with 6 portraits

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Robert B. Todd

31 December 2019, 17:59

Saxon Sydney-Turner (1880-1962) is best known for his association with members of the Bloomsbury Group whom he met while an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge (1899-1903): Leonard Woolf (see vol. 1 of his autobiography), Clive Bell, Lytton Strachey. An outstanding classical scholar, he became an Apostle. In 1904 he joined the civil service, working mainly in the Treasury. He published nothing except a few early poems. He was known for his eccentric personality, his bachelor lifestyle, and long silences broken by enigmatic outbursts. Yet he somehow won friends. Virginia Woolf's letters to him show something of his appeal. He died in poverty. For more information see Sarah Hall, Before Leonard (2006), ch. 4, and Todd Avery's pamphlet, Saxon Sydney-Turner: The Ghost of Bloomsbury (2015).