Lord Chesterfields Letters (Oxford Worlds Classics)

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Lord Chesterfield's Letters

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Be the first to ask a question about Lord Chesterfield's Letters. Lists with This Book. Sep 12, J. Of course, most of the French phrases, sentences, etc. No woman ever had more than she has le ton de la parfaitement bonne compagnie, les manieres engageantes, et le je ne scais quoi qui plait. A few extracts primarily focusing on the letters to his son that follow should interest some of my Goodreads friends so that, I hope, they would literally entice such avid readers to find or borrow a copy from any good public or university library to read.

Please take your time and enjoy. Never seem wiser, nor more learned, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: Therefore, I guess he might have paraphrased them after Swift, they are probably not his original ideas. Oxford University Press, View all 5 comments. Nov 03, Jackson Cyril rated it really liked it. Dr Johnson declared these letters to contain "the morals of a whore and the manners of a dancing-master"; I confess that these letters aren't nearly as much fun. But they do allow us to see the world as a British gentleman of the 18th century did.

Dec 09, Steven Meyers rated it it was amazing. Jan 22, Rainier Moreno-Lacalle rated it it was amazing Shelves: Amazing book packed with father's genuine affection to his son, practical advice, medieval etiquettes, and 16th century politics. Many of the ideas in this book can be considered obsolete but in general the eerie feeling that your fathers loves you and wants you to be successful can be felt while reading this book. Feb 08, Paul O'Leary rated it it was amazing.

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Eighteenth century English aristocrat obsesses over his son's "parts". If this lead-in appeals to you then you may have the wrong idea. Each of the former is for the purpose of furthering his son's education of the world. The story is an old one, even in the 18th century. Chesterfield, though an ad Eighteenth century English aristocrat obsesses over his son's "parts".

Chesterfield, though an adept political insider, felt he never "went as far as he should have" and vowed to himself to give his son all the advantages that he lacked. His contacts were open to him. Education was provided through the best available tutors. His purse was liberally accessed within shrewd reason. And, speaking of shrewd reason, most importantly, Chesterfield took upon himself to provide his son with a thoroughly practical education for getting on in this world.


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  • Lord Chesterfield's Letters by Philip Dormer Stanhope;
  • He is very specific that this isn't just familial obligation followed through with diligence. Chesterfield states unequivocally, "I want the rays of your rising to reflect new luster upon my setting light". C could apply pressure, indeed.


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    Not all recommendations are entirely mercenary and mean. Chesterfield actually has a very modern view of the salubriousness of exposing the young to multiple languages as a prompting to proficiency in them later in life.

    9780199554843 - Lord Chesterfield's Letters (Oxford World's Classics) by Lord Chesterfield

    He is also very modern in his reluctance to utilize physical punishment, though it does enter in 18th century, you know. C's focus is on how to impress superiors for promotion, utilizing peers for personal benefit, and keeping proper distance from, while maintaining a working relationship with inferiors.

    Samuel Johnson, angered over a promise of support for his dictionary which didn't materialize, savaged Chesterfield for his ethics fit for a dance master. Smollett felt of C's character in a similar fashion. In truth, much of the advice C offered is far from PC. Sadly, his son fell far short of the mark Chesterfield notched for him. The godson fared no better and it is rather sad to hear the lessons repeated, with the same sorry result, as C has entered old age. One walks away with the impression that these letters were published for the purpose of assisting some other "son" out there who might finally benefit from the lessons given by a master of the everyday-political-practical world.

    Given, received, but not actualized in either intended case in Chesterfield's lifetime. Feb 23, Dan Dumitrescu rated it liked it Recommends it for: Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re. Trying to educate your son through letters is not exactly my kind of parenting but taking in consideration this happened in the XVIII century is a great opportunity to understand and compare the modus vivendi and unfortunately I discovered that civilisation didn't made much progress in the last three hundred of years.

    The education starts from "Sapere est principium et fons" Knowledge is the foundation and the source in order to obtain "suaviter in modo, fortite Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re. The education starts from "Sapere est principium et fons" Knowledge is the foundation and the source in order to obtain "suaviter in modo, fortiter in re" gentle in manner, strong in performance and it goes thru all the classics and off course the peculiarities of that century in Europe.

    Lord Chesterfield's Letters - Lord Chesterfield - Oxford University Press

    I should have read it when I was in my 20's, maybe i would "Amoto quaeramus seria ludo" pursue serious matters, put aside play at an earlier stage in life. May 13, Grace Harwood rated it it was amazing. Writing to him from when he was 7 years old, these letters are full of instructions in order to make this son a "The ways are generally crooked and full of turnings, sometimes strewed with flowers, sometimes choked up with briars; rotten ground and deep pits frequently lie concealed under a smooth and pleasing surface; all the paths are slippery, and every slip is dangerous.

    Writing to him from when he was 7 years old, these letters are full of instructions in order to make this son a better person and a successful politician "My object is to have you fit to live; which, if you are not, I do not desire that you should live at all. When one reads the letters and charts Chesterfield's relationship with his son through them, one gets the sense that this poor lad must have literally dreaded the postman arriving.

    Whilst reading them, my overriding sensation was one of relief that my own father is a retired tax inspector and not Lord Chesterfield. Indeed, from the excellent introductory notes to this book, the poor boy did not enjoy that "engaging je ne scais quoi".

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