An Apology for Idlers by Robert Louis Stevenson. Nicholas Lezard is cheered up by a collection of uplifting essays from a true optimist. For the true bibliophile and design-savvy book lover, here is the next set of Penguin’s celebrated Great Ideas series by some of history’s most. An Apology for Idlers is a thought-provoking essay. It is full of humour, wit and irony. It is written by Robert Louis Stevenson. He was a great.

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Stevenson supports the truant.

His way takes him along a by-road, not much frequented, but very even and pleasant, which is called Commonplace Lane, and leads to the Belvedere of Commonsense. An irresistible invitation to reject the work ethic and enjoy life’s simple pleasures such as laughing, drinking and lying in the open airRobert Louis Stevenson’s witty and seminal essay on the joys of idleness is accompanied here by his writings on, among other things, growing old, visiting unp.

The greatest difficulty with most subjects is to do them well; therefore, please to remember this is an apology.

It is the capacity for idling that restores warmth and brings the rest of the world back into view. Worldly Wiseman was much commoved with passion, and shaking his cane with a very threatful countenance, broke forth upon this wise: This was one of the better ones I’ve come across so far though. Odlers is touched in a very delicate place by the disregard of Diogenes. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. He will have a great and cool allowance for all sorts of people and opinions.

This collection started off very strongly with the title piece but suffered from diminishing returns.

The piddly kickbacks we get help defray the cost of web hosting. I could give you four or five blog-posts based on this book; I will have to settle for one. Stevenson is the great “aye sayer”, capable of finding pleasure in the smallest things, even when he is contemplating “the Enjoyment of Unpleasant Places” – “I am happier where it is tame and fertile, and not readily pleased without trees,” he says, but “wherever a man is, he will find something to please and pacify him But one can make an exception in this case.


However he was known at this time to do book binding, as here. To ask other readers questions about An Apology for Idlersplease sign up. Tom Hodgkinson’s How to Be Idle: We grow weary when idle. A scarce Roycrofters publication done post-humously, two years after the death of their founder Elbert Hubbard and shortly before the demise of the press.

An Apology for Idlers

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Topics Fiction Nicholas Lezard’s choice. The last few sections were essentially travelogues with little in the way of ideas.

On the Shortness of Life] in the sense that both argue the value of making one’s time one’s own. Either he absents himself entirely from all fellowship, and lives a recluse in a garret, with carpet slippers and a leaden inkpot; or he comes among people swiftly and bitterly, in a contraction of his whole nervous system, to discharge some temper before he returns to work.

An Apology for Idlers by Robert Louis Stevenson | : Books

To see them, you would suppose there was nothing to look at and no one to speak with; you would imagine they were paralysed or alienated; and yet very possibly they are hard workers in their own way, and have good eyesight for a flaw in a deed or a turn of the market. Stevenson, the famous English writer argues that idleness is as good as diligence in life.

He will not be heard among the dogmatists. Refresh and try again. Shannon Lakanen on Apoloyy 20th-C Essays. A happy man or woman is a better thing to find than a five-pound apoloy. The book contains reflections by an intelligent man of the world and some insight into the times he lived in. The ends for which they give away their priceless youth, for all they know, may be chimerical tor hurtful; the glory and riches they expect may never come, or may find them indifferent; and they and the world they inhabit are so inconsiderable that the mind freezes at the thought.


It is only recently that critics have begun to look beyond Stevenson’s popularity and allow him a place in the Western canon. Secondly pleasures give happiness to both the giver and the receiver. The effect is like listening to an LP with some wonderful singles and forgettable tracks of a lesser grade making up the running time. Stevenson says that this is idlrrs success in life.

Time was when just about every civilized bookshelf in the land could be counted on to house a copy idelrs his Virginibus Puerisque, the collection which contains the title essay of this little book and two others.

Abuse and disdain follow their movements. If a young man completely depends on books for knowledge, he is as fool as Lady of Shallot. There is no duty we so much underrate iders the duty of being happy. Watson aka umberto rated it liked it Shelves: You are commenting using your Twitter account.

An Apology for Idlers by Robert Louis Stevenson

Hazlitt mentions that he was more sensible of obligation to Northcote, who had never done him anything he could call a service, than to his whole circle of ostentatious friends; for he thought a good companion emphatically the greatest benefactor. The pursuit of these unexpected tangents can be a far better educator than labouring endlessly over unchanging work or solitary study.

For my part, I justify this encouragement of smiling rather than tearful children; I do not wish to pay for tears anywhere but upon the stage; but I am prepared to deal largely in the opposite commodity. I’m always afraid of being caught reading, lest I should pass for being studious or affected, and therefore instead of making a display of books, I always try to hide them.

By never being too committed xpology one thing, they never learn the intolerance of the expert.