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Online Introduction to:

The Pleasures of Life,


Sir John Lubbock, Baronet.


Philosophy as a general subject has limited appeal for a lot of people. But, as individuals, we all have our own personal philosophies for living and coping with our world. What form or model that creed takes is unique for everyone of us.

In this little book written in 1887, Sir John Lubbock, Baronet (later Baron Avebury), shares his own beliefs. He passes on the best quotes by his favorite authors that serve to illustrate them. These essays formed the basis for lectures he had given at ceremonies where he was invited to speak by different universities and colleges in 19th Century England.

In talking about philosophy, it is really nice when somebody else reads all the huge and boring works on the subject for us, and then just passes on a few of the morsels that were particularly enlightening. The quotes that Sir John shares in these essays are the best examples that he could find to support his own viewpoint.

What is very clear is that this is a very good-hearted, well-read man. Whatever words and ideas that have sustained him may help the rest of us.

For me, I am perfectly willing to have somebody else cull some pretty dull books for the best parts. This is a short book, personable and casual as well, so that I didn't feel like I was being beaten over the head with some high-faluting moral tract. It is very pleasant reading. It is also comforting to read the thoughts and beliefs of a decent, kind human being who shares the personal philosophy that has consoled and cheered him all his life.

About this text: This represents the original edition of Lubbock’s work. Many (at least) twenty editions were printed, and the later versions are much longer. I suspect that this American version has been stolen, without permission, by its American publisher, since it was first printed in England. The typos made in this edition, and the horrible mistakes with the footnote numbering, madethis the most impressive example of bad editing that I have ever seen. The footnotes are now numbered correctly and the typos are fixed as well. The source code for the pages will point out where I have done this.

As I like to mention, here's what is written in pencil on the flyleaf of the book I used:

Eulalie Ingham
A friend

Get started with The Pleasures of Life, by Sir John.


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