The History of Rasselas (unabridged)

Audio Sample

Samuel Johnson

The History of Rasselas

Read by Peter Wickham


Above all, Samuel Johnson’s Rasselas (1759) is concerned with the nature of happiness. Rasselas and his companions remove themselves from the pleasure of the ‘happy valley’ so that they can make their ‘choice of life’. In the course of their travels they come across scholars, astronomers, shepherds, hermits and poets, explore their way of life. Rasselas finds that complete happiness is elusive and, in the words of his mentor Imlac, ‘while you are making the choice of life, you neglect to live’.

In his treatment of this popular tale from the Orient, Johnson deploys his customary wit and perspicacity. Popular in its own day, Rasselas is a journey of the mind and soul, raising important questions concerning the human condition, which remain pertinent today.

  • Running Time: 4 h 50 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-443-7
    Cat. no.:NA0578
    Edited by:Andrew Young, Viva Voce Audio
    Released:June 23
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