"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
From the Back Cover
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*A Private History of Happiness* offers a fresh look at happiness that belonged to particular days as they were lived by real peopleacross many centuries and from around the worldand shows how these women and men experienced their varied moments of joy. From many written sources, notably personal diaries, letters, memoirs, and other life records, it presents a selection of ninety-nine vivid moments that really were happy. Each passage, each voice is different, full of a particular life with all its lights and shadows, and we are invited by these individuals to share what was specific to their joyful experiencesa place, a time, a relationship.
The ninety-nine moments of happiness are arranged by themesMorning, Friendship, Garden, Family, Leisure, Nature, Food and Drink, Well-Being, Creativity, Love, and Eveningand each is followed by a brief description and commentary that encourages further reflection and exploration. The passages come from writers in North America and Europe, as well as in China and Japan, North Africa and India, and they remind us of the universal side of our being and our common capability of happiness.
Instead of advocating the latest guide or formula to achieve happiness, *A Private History of Happiness* presents a wider perspective on everyday moments of joy in different times and culturesand invites us to discover the happiness in our own lives that can be found right here and now.