The Oxford book of ages
This ingenious anthology brings together a kaleidoscope of opinions about every age of life from birth to a hundred. Anthony and Sally Sampson have collected the wit and wisdom of many remarkable figures of the past and present, as they pause to reflect on their achievements or aspirations and on what it means to be a certain age.L If you want to find your experiences shared, or your fears and hopes for the future confirmed, turn to any age for the expression of views by novelists, poets, painters and musicians, scientists, doctors, and sociologists. Profound truths as well as ironic observations emerge to enlighten us from the diaries and letters, biographies and autobiographies of contributors as diverse as Cicero and Ogden Nash, Picasso and Mozart, Goethe and Churchill.
In the early years, memories and the theorizing of educators and psychoanalysts share the page with more spontaneous reactions like that of Queen Victoria to her grandchild--"An ugly baby is a very nasty object." From the traumas of adolescence to the first intimations of mortality in the twenties and thirties, the imaginative thinker runs riot; the lean years of middle age prove a time of readjustment for many, but not all agree with Charles Peguy that "forty is a terrible age." Old age is a time of rage and regrets for some, but for others the time of greatest happiness, serenity, or achievement.
After reading these pages, you may be encouraged to proclaim your age or hide it; whatever you decide, you will know you are in good company.
About the Author:
Anthony Sampson is a journalist and author of The Changing Anatomy of Britain. Sally Sampson is a magistrate in Britain's juvenile courts.
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