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Durham University

Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Professor Patricia Waugh

Waugh, Patricia (2015). Beauty Rewrites Literary History: Revisiting the Myth of Bloomsbury. In The Recovery of Beauty: Arts, Culture, Medicine. Saunders, Corinne, Macnaughton, Jane & Fuller, David Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 108-128.

Author(s) from Durham


The question, ‘what was Bloomsbury’, elicits two responses: a catalogue of the people, the place, the moment; but more compelling, and more elusive, the evocation of an ethos. Bloomsbury is seen to have rein-vented beauty and the beautiful soul. If there is a single paragraph that has served as touchstone for this perception, it is G. E. Moore’s definitive peroration in the final chapter of Principia Ethica (1903):
By far the most valuable things we can know or can imagine, are certain states of consciousness, which may be roughly described as the pleasures of human intercourse and the enjoyment of beautiful objects.1

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