Set in the heart of the Sussex Downs, Charleston Farmhouse is the most important remaining example of Bloomsbury decorative style, created by the painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Quentin Bell, the younger son of Clive and Vanessa Bell, and his daughter Virghinia Nicholson, tell the story of this unique house, linking it with some of the leading cultural figures who were invited there, including Vanessa's sister Virginia Woolf, the writer Lytton Strachey, the economist Maynard Keynes and the art critic Roger Fry. The house and garden are portrayed through Alen MacWeeney's atmostpheric photographs; pictures from Vanessa Bell's family album convey the flavour of the household in its heyday.
Quentin Bell, the younger son of Clive and Vanessa Bell, grew up at Charleston, giving him an intimate knowledge of the house and its inhabitants. He was a painter, sculptor, potter and art critic, and held chairs in Fine Art and the History of Art at the universities of Leeds, Oxford and Sussex. He died in 1996. Virginia Nicholson is the elder daughter of Quentin and Olivier Bell. After studying at Cambridge University she worked as a television researcher. She lives in Sussex near Charleston and is a member of the Charleston Committee.