One of the most popular and prolific writers during the Victorian age, Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) emphasised individual responsibility in the pursuit of personal and social improvement. Among other titles, his acclaimed Lives of the Engineers (1861-2) and insightful Autobiography (1905) are also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection. He is ...
One of the most popular and prolific writers during the Victorian age, Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) emphasised individual responsibility in the pursuit of personal and social improvement. Among other titles, his acclaimed Lives of the Engineers (1861-2) and insightful Autobiography (1905) are also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection. He is best known, however, for the present work. First published in 1859, it sold 20,000 copies in its first year, more than a quarter of a million by 1905, and was widely translated. Using hundreds of biographical examples, ranging from George Stephenson to Josiah Wedgwood, Smiles champions the virtues of hard work, perseverance and character in achieving success. While these values appealed to a large readership in the book's heyday, later critics saw the work as promoting a form of selfish materialism. However interpreted, this remains a crucial text for those fascinated by the Victorian drive for self-improvement.
Revised and Enlarged Edition. Good-in gilt-stamped blue cloth boards; no dust jacket, as issued; shelf wear to edges and extrems; softening and light fraying to spine ends and board corners; corners lightly bumped; rubbing to boards and spine; front hinge starting (paper is torn but it is still intact and strong); pages browned; else a clean and tight copy; Pasadena's premier independent new and used bookstore.
Good. No Dustjacket. 1914. 304 pages. No dust jacket. Undated but presumed this edition in red cloth cover. Clean but yellowed pages with no markings or annotations. Tanned end papers. B&W illustrations. Moderate wear and scuffing to the boards, mainly on the spine, edges and corners. Tanning to the spine and boards.
*This price HAS BEEN temporarily reduced until Sunday, Aug. 2. Order now for BEST SAVINGS* this is the 1860 printng, xii, 363 pp., octavo, decorated leather slightly rubbed, marbled edges, former owner's note to third blank, very minor age potting, overall very good.
Very Good. Octavo. 447pgs. Tan Cloth. gilt lettering on spine front panel. Chocolate Brown colored endpapers. light mottling to the edges of front panel, wear to upper spine, toning to the pages. Otherwise clean, unmarked copy. Smiles is the first to coin the phrase self-help, the contents of which first appeared in a speech he gave in 1845. "I would not have any one here think that, because I have mentioned individuals who have raised themselves by self-education from poverty to social eminence, and even wealth, these are the chief marks to be aimed at. That would be a great fallacy. Knowledge is of itself one of the highest enjoyments. The ignorant man passes through the world dead to all pleasures, save those of the senses."
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