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The Warm SouthHow the Mediterranean Shaped the British Imagination$
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Robert Holland

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300235920

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300235920.001.0001

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That Splendid Enclosure

That Splendid Enclosure

Meanings of the Mediterranean from Rupert Brooke to Damien Hirst

(p.225) Chapter Seven That Splendid Enclosure
The Warm South

Robert Holland

Yale University Press

This chapter describes how the spirit of commemoration of those killed in the Great War, which became such a hallmark of national culture in the years ahead, always remained overwhelmingly Southern and Greek. What was involved was not just aesthetic in a purely artistic sense. The legacy of physical disfigurement from war service was one prime reason why consciousness of beauty was habitual in society at large. Simplicity, minimalism, and the whiteness of marble were inherent in this rejuvenation of classical principles. For instance, the bare austerity of Edwin Lutyens's Cenotaph in Whitehall, erected in 1920, drew upon ancient Greek tombs at Xanthos. In her 1925 volume of essays, The Common Reader, Virginia Woolf captured essential elements in this national mood during the first years after the war by relating the British condition to the ancient Greek mind.

Keywords:   British culture, Great War, Greek, Edwin Lutyens, Cenotaph, Virginia Woolf

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