Book Review: A Private History of Happiness

In a culture where everyone is continually assaulted by advertising to purchase things they don’t need on the premise that possessing the latest new gizmo will bring happiness, it is a rare treat to sit back and savor the simple pleasures. This collection of ninety-nine personal moments of happiness spans history although most of them come from before the Industrial Age. Primarily from diaries and correspondence with friends or family, these short excerpts recount moments of personal happiness and general sense of well being. Interestingly, what made those long deceased writers happy centuries ago is no different then what makes people happy today provided they recognize the moment. Divided into several chapters including Friendship, Garden, Family, Nature and Love, these sparkling moments of happiness are as simple as enjoying the view off a mountaintop to a flavor of a prefect plum. Each excerpt includes a nice bit of history on the author, time and circumstances surrounding the passages placing them neatly into context. This lovely book invites readers to contemplate their lives and begin taking pleasure in those precious little moments of simple happiness. Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.