Julia Strachey was born in Allahabad, India, where her father Oliver Strachey was a British civil servant. Her mother Ruby was of Swiss-German origin. After age six, she lived most of her life in England, where she attended Brackenhurst boarding school. She worked as a model at Poiret, as a photographer, and as a publisher's reader. In 1927, she married Stephen Tomlin, a sculptor; they separated in 1934. She wrote short stories for magazines and later developed into a novelist. She is perhaps best remembered for her 1932 work Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, published by the Hogarth Press of Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Her paternal uncle was Lytton Strachey, and she became a close friend of Dora Carrington, who painted her portrait. Through all these connections, she became friends with the members of the Bloomsbury Group and was an avid member of Bloomsbury's Memoir Club, where she and its other members discussed and wrote about their shared memories. In 1939, she met Lawrence Gowing, an artist and later a critic, 17 years her junior. The couple married in 1954 and spent a total of 30 years together.