Book cover for Life Lessons from Byron

Life Lessons from Byron



12 September 2013
128 pages
Imprint: Bluebird


A new series of books from Alain de Botton's School of Life does for Hobbes, Freud, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Byron and Bergson what de Botton's books have done for classical philosophers and Proust. They are short, snappy reads, reminiscent of Maria Popova's Brain Pickings blog - aphoristic digests from history's great minds
thoroughly welcoming and approachable ... [Life Lessons from Byron is] a ringing affirmation of the power of poetry to reach down tot the essence, or at least the essences, of life ... If the six books in the Life Lessons series can teach even a few readers to pay passionate heed to the world - to notice things - they will have been an unquestionable success
The book is written out of this sense of intimacy with Byron which never seems forced or mannered. I get the impression that Dr Bevis must be an excellent teacher ... What I liked about this little book, and I liked it a lot, is that it treats Byron as a grown-up - and Byron was very much a grown-up (amongst other things of course). Bevis moves naturally from letters and journals to the poems and to comments by those who knew Byron well. I often read things written about Byron and do not recognise Byron in them, but here, all the time, is the presence of a thinking, feeling, sensitive, witty, modest, very odd, but always vital man who engages his readers with unusual directness and is always, as he claimed, essentially a moral poet ... I wish someone would give this book to Melvyn Bragg or Rupert Everett or even Fiona McCarthy. They would learn a thing or two from it about Byron. But any reader, new to Byron, or familiar with him would enjoy this superb little volume
there is a good deal to be learned from these little primers