Facts and Events
Adrian Stephen (1883–1948) was a member of the Bloomsbury Group, an author and psychoanalyst, and the brother of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. He and his wife became interested in the work of Sigmund Freud, and were among the first British psychoanalysts.
Stephen, educated at Westminster School, was the youngest of four children of Leslie Stephen; their father's death in 1904 resulted in the four siblings moving to Bloomsbury, and their house there became the nucleus of the Bloomsbury Group. By his mother's first marriage, he was also a half-brother of George and Gerald Duckworth.
Among his romantic liaisons was his affair with the artist Duncan Grant, which led to Grant's introduction to, and eventual unusual romance with, Stephen's sister Vanessa Bell. In 1914 Stephen married Karin Costelloe, a philosophy graduate and expert on Bergson. On the introduction of conscription in 1916 during World War I Stephen became a conscientious objector, like many other members of the Bloomsbury Group, and, with Costelloe, lived out the remainder of the war working on a farm in Essex.
In 1936 Stephen decided to recount in detail the Dreadnought hoax, in which he had taken part a quarter of a century earlier, completing an account published by Hogarth press.
In World War II Stephen became so angered by the Nazis' brutality and anti-semitism that he abandoned his pacifist stance of the previous war and volunteered to become an army doctor at the age of 60 in 1942, shortly after his sister Virginia's suicide. He died in 1948.