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Book: The Secret Power of Beauty Author: John Armstrong Price: Allen Lane, ?12.99

Beautiful people are always with us, as evolutionary psychologists and a trip to the news-stand confirm. But beauty as an overriding goal of the arts began to decline more than 100 years ago. Several factors explain its fall from grace: clich?, associations with a ruling taste and the way it dominated other concerns. In the past few years, however, it has begun to make a comeback. Not only have there been large exhibitions on the subject in Avignon and Washington DC, but important investigations have been published,…

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