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Lectures on Jurisprudence, Or, the Philosophy of Positive Law . 5th ed. (1885) 2 Vols. Reprint of 5 Revised Edition
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William gets into all sorts of hilarious trouble for living up to his ideals with a lot of it being ironic. The very people he seeks to defend or sacrifice himself for are the ones who take advantage of him, and often he finds himself subject to the logical consequences of adhering to his particular ideal. No matter what happens, he keeps pushing forward and sticking with his principles.
I love H.G. Wells' works, and I think this is one of his best. Everything he writes is thought provoking, and this story provides plenty of food for thought. It takes on the subject of holding ideas vs. actually putting those ideals into practice without compromise. Even though the character, William, has problems as the result of doing this, he also lives a very full and exciting life.
In a way I see this story as more of an indictment against people who don't adhere to their ideals than those who do. William certainly suffers hardships for sticking with his beliefs, but he acquires confidence and courage and lives an outstanding and adventurous life because of it. I strongly recommend this book. I enjoyed it immensely and got a lot out of it.
I often wonder if Wells was doing a caricature of himself when he wrote this book. He was also a strongly idealistic person and it got him into trouble as well. He even made the Nazi's hit list during World War II because of his beliefs. It seems his personal life would have given him plenty of ammunition to write this story. Maybe that's why it's so outstanding.
This could have gone either of two ways. It could have just as easily been a tragic tale as a comedic one. I love that Wells decided to take it in a humorous direction. I really think the point he wished to make sinks in much more powerfully, because he chose to make this a humorous account. And the story is hilarious. The character gets into all sorts of ironically funny situations as the result of his insistence on following the ideology that he has embraced.
Though the character gets into trouble and looks ridiculous at times, he's also very inspirational. He keeps getting back up no matter how many times he's knocked down and shows a lot of courage. He also lives a very full and amazing life. He sees and experiences things that most people only dream of because of the ideology that he adheres to. His life is one long adventure. I believe that's the way it is for anyone who refuses to let go of lofty ideals and insists on living true to them. Such a person would certainly run into trouble but also live an amazing life and grow stronger and more courageous each day.
I really loved this book and just can't recommend it enough. This is Wells at his most brilliant. I absolutely loved the equally noble and silly character he created. This book really gives you a lot to think about and it makes you reassess your life. It's everything a book should be and more.
[I did buy the book from Amazon, via another account.]