The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia

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Oxford University Press, Jun 11, 2009 - Fiction - 208 pages
10 Reviews
'What then is to be done? said Rasselas; the more we inquire, the less we can resolve.' Rasselas and his companions escape the pleasures of the 'happy valley' in order to make their 'choice of life'. By witnessing the misfortunes and miseries of others they may come to understand the nature of happiness, and value it more highly. Their travels and enquiries raise important practical and philosophical questions concerning many aspects of the human condition, including the business of a poet, the stability of reason, the immortality of the soul, and how to find contentment. Johnson's adaptation of the popular oriental tale displays his usual wit and perceptiveness; sceptical and probing, his tale nevertheless suggests that wisdom and self-knowledge need not be entirely beyond reach. This new edition relates the novel to Johnson's life and thought and to politics, society, and the global context of the Seven Years War. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
  

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Review: The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia

User Review  - Evalangui - Goodreads

This is quite brilliant! I was pleasantly surprised to find a classic so readable and interesting. It reminds me a lot of Voltaire's Candide, also published in 1759, although this one isn't a satire ... Read full review

Review: The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia

User Review  - kasia - Goodreads

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I came for the Orient-as-hypothetical-space-for-philosophizing-at, and stayed for the actual philosophy. Oriental weirdness aside (because there is some ... Read full review

Contents

THE HISTORY OF RASSELAS PRINCE OF ABISSINIA
7
Explanatory Notes
111
Glossary
153
Copyright

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