Essays in Love will appeal to anyone who has ever been in a relationship or confused about love. The book charts the progress of a love affair from the first kiss to argument and reconciliation, from intimacy and tenderness to the onset of anxiety and heartbreak. The work’s genius lies in the way it minutely analyses emotions we’ve all felt before but have perhaps never understood so well: it includes a chapter on the anxieties of when and how to say ‘I love you’ and another on the challenges of disagreeing with someone else’s taste in shoes. While gripping the reader with the talent of a great novelist, de Botton brings a philosopher’s sensibility to his analysis of the emotions of love, resulting in a genre-breaking book that is at once touching and thought-provoking.
‘The book’s success has much to do with its beautifully modelled sentences, its wry humour and its unwavering deadpan respect for its reader’s intelligence . . . full of keen observation and flashes of genuine lyricism, acuity and depth.’ Francine Prose, New Republic
‘Witty, funny, sophisticated, neatly tied up, and full of wise and illuminating insights.’ P. J. Kavanagh, Spectator
‘De Botton is a national treasure.’ Susan Hill
‘I doubt if de Botton has written a dull sentence in his life.’ Jan Morris, New Statesman
‘Single-handedly, de Botton has taken philosophy back to its simplest and most important purpose: helping us to live our lives.’ Independent