- Author: William Penn
- Publisher: Attic books (2012)
- Binding: Hardcover
- Page count: 176
- ISBN: 9780890516508
- Review Date: 7/26/2012 by Shaun Tabatt
- Rating: Highly Recommended (5/5 Stars)
Have you read your enchiridion today? Do you even know what an enchiridion is? I didn’t either until I looked it up at dictionary.com. An enchiridion is a handbook or manual and that’s exactly how William Penn referred to his little book of proverbs, wisddom, and principles for better living, commonly known as Some Fruits of Solitude. Attic Books (an imprint of New Leaf Publishing Group) recently published a beautiful edition of Some Fruits of Solitude, which preserves the character, style, and content of the spectacular 1901 edition published by Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd, London.
This new edition from Attic books has an elegant weathered look and feel to it, complete with tattered page edges. The book itself is a work of art and is s an intriguing show piece that will certainly stand out on your bookshelf, desk, or coffee table. Visitors to your home or office will want to pick it up just to find out what it is.
According to the introduction, “The form of “Some Fruits of Solitude” is wholly due to the influence of La Rochefoucauld‘s famous compendium of sentences, the vogue of which was at its height in England when Penn wrote.” (introduction, p. xx – xi) William Penn most likely composed his maxims between 1665 and 1693.
The subject matter covered throughout the book is quite broad, touching on 165 different topics. These include education, discipline, friendship, justice, ambition, jealousy, leadership, and much much more. The number of maxims presented throughout the book comes in at a whopping total of 855. That’s a lot of ground to cover in only 170 pages!
Here a few of the maxims that particularly resonated with me:
- Pride – “In his Prayers he says, Thy Will be done: But means his own: At least acts so.” (p. 10)
- Indifferency – “Indifference is good in Judgment, bout bad i nRelation, and stark nought in Religion.” (p. 82)
- Of Envy – “But certainly they are in the Wrong, that can think they are lessened, because others have their Due.” (p. 128)
- Of Jealousy – “The Jealous are Troublesome to others, but a Torment to themselves.” (p. 147)
- Of Conduct in Speech – “It is safer to Learn, than teach; and who conceals his Opinion, has nothing to Answer for.” (p. 134)
About the Author:
“William Penn (October 14, 1644 – July 30, 1718) was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Indians. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed.” (Wikipedia)
Where to buy:
This book was provided by Attic books for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
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