How to live happily in the modern world, guided by the ancient ideas of Aristotle
What do you and an ancient philosopher have in common? It turns out much more than you might think…
Aristotle was an extraordinary thinker, perhaps the greatest in history. Yet he was preoccupied by an ordinary question: how to be happy. His deepest belief was that we can all be happy in a meaningful, sustained way – and he led by example.
In this handbook to his timeless teachings, Professor Edith Hall shows how ancient thinking is precisely what we need today, even if you don’t know your Odyssey from your Iliad. In ten practical lessons we come to understand more about our own characters and how to make good decisions. We learn how to do well in an interview, how to choose a partner and life-long friends, and how to face death or bereavement.
Life deals the same challenges – in Ancient Greece or the modern world. Aristotle’s way is not to apply rules – it’s about engaging with the texture of existence, and striding purposefully towards a life well lived.
This is advice that won’t go out of fashion.
About the Author
Edith Hall is one of Britain’s foremost classicists, having held posts at the universities of Royal Holloway, Cambridge, Durham, Reading, and Oxford. In 2015 she was awarded the Erasmus Medal of the European Academy, given to a scholar whose works represent a significant contribution to European culture and scientific achievement. She is the first woman to win this award.
Hall regularly writes in the Times Literary Supplement, reviews theatre productions on radio, and has written and edited more than a dozen works on the ancient world, including Introducing the Ancient Greeks. She teaches at King’s College London and lives in Gloucestershire.
"Wonderful and timely. Aristotle's influence has been immense, but Edith Hall's authoritative, warmly readable, clear and approachable book opens Aristotle up and establishes him as a man who addresses the issues of the human heart as much as the human mind. She gives us an Aristotle for our times as much as his own and all those that came between. Hugely recommended." -- STEPHEN FRY
"A wonderfully lively and personal guide to Aristotle's philosophy of well-being. Read it and flourish!" -- Sarah Bakewell, author of HOW TO LIVE
"[Hall] has written a practical and enjoyable guide to Aristotle's philosophy as a recipe for contentment in the modern world." -- Daisy Dunn * Literary Review *
"Edith Hall has recast Aristotle's text into everyday language, and applied his lessons on everything from happiness to, for instance, resisting temptation, writing a job application or using the Greek's chart of Virtues and Vices to analyse one's character." * Daily Telegraph *
"A wonderfully accessible picture of Aristotle ... I found it very compelling" -- John Gray * BBC Radio 4, Start the Week *