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Grant Hawkins

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A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
by William B Irvine
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.99

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable for a beginner, though frustrating for others, 24 Jan. 2011
Though Irvine seems to grasp the nature of Stoic philosophy this work, in my view, fails to aid anything to the Stoic world. If one wishes to gain a fuller picture of Stoicism one suggests looking directly at the ancient philosophers, of which there are many good translations.

It is clear that Irvine has drawn upon his own experience and has placed that in his work, however his Stoicism seems to be more of a forced occupation than a personal philosophical outlook. Though worth buying if not interested in the ancient world though if you do not mind it then look more widely, and develop your own lifestyle, instead of getting frustrated by Irvines subjective way.


The Book of the Courtier (Classics)
The Book of the Courtier (Classics)
by Baldesar Castiglione
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Above and beyond the call of the perfect Courtier, 27 Nov. 2009
Baldesar Castiglione, writing at the beginning of the fifteen hundreds, shows a game held at the Court of Urbino where the lords, and to an extent the ladies, decide to play a game where they have to create the 'perfect courtier'. The first two books are devoted to the courtier, where the lords discuss humour, physical activities to be adopted by a courtier, how a courtier should be the best at everything and love.

Book three debates the lady of the court, they ladies act against what the Magnifico says, and when defended against ignorance they ask him to explain what he means because they do not understand. So I am not sure what Castiglione's point was at this juncture. For he is not consistant in this arguement

Though despite the minor blip in the sense of Book three (which was very intertaining) this book is well worth reading. Gives a great insight in to the attitudes and values of the medieval world. Is also helpful in the modern day, giving a model for perfect politeness.


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