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A Private History of Happiness
A Private History of Happiness

A Private History of Happiness

Ninety-Nine Moments of Joy from Around the World


256 Pages, 5.5 x 8.25

Cloth, $19.95 (US $19.95) (CA $21.95)

Publication Date: August 2012

ISBN 9781933346519

Rights: US & CA

BlueBridge (Aug 2012)

Sorry, this item is temporarily out of stock


Sentiments of merriment, well-being, and mirth

A chronicle of happiness and pleasant moments from ancient Greece to more recent times, this collection contains 99 passages designed to give an uplifting perspective to modern life. Instead of advocating the latest gimmick, guide, or formula, this book offers a wider perspective on everyday instances of happiness from different times and many cultures, advocating that happiness is found within the self instead of a political mantra, Internet meme, or advertisement promise. Including noteworthy writers and thinkers such as Marcus Aurelius, Matsuo Basho, George Eliot, Louisa May Alcott, and many others, the passages relate the shared experiences of happiness throughout time, followed by a brief description and commentary that encourages further reflection and exploration. These moving and often beautiful expressions are drawn from intimate sources such as diaries, letters, and memoirs; and reveal how earlier generations of various cultures found happiness often in the smallest, most commonplace circumstances.


"This is more than a book, it is a celebration. . . . Across the barriers of time and culture, it collects for us in the simplest, most restful, most seductive way, the goodness of what it is for us to experience life as sentient human beings." —Phyllis Tickle, compiler of The Divine Hours

"This book is about moments when we are surprised by quiet joy in the everyday wonders of the world. . . . Overflowing with the simple pleasures of life, this is a book to take with you on your travels and to bring home like a friend." —J. Edward Chamberlin, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, author, If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories?

"It turns out that unpretentious, small joys have been shared by human beings across cultures and over thousands of years; in his sensitive commentaries, Myerson brings these precious past moments back to life, and into our lives." —Harry Eyres, columnist, Financial Times

"It can be said of few books that they make the world a less lonely place: this is one. Read it and be inspired, delighted and cheered; give it and create more happiness.' —Clare Brant, professor, King's College London, author, Eighteenth-Century Letters and British Culture

Author Biography

George Myerson has published a number of books on ancient and contemporary culture, and modern thought. He holds a PhD in English from Cambridge University, and was a reader in English at King’s College London.