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Varieties of Melancholy: A hopeful guide to our somber moods 

Hardcover – Aug. 12 2022

by Alain de Botton


An insightful and consoling guide to the melancholic state of mind.


This is a book that celebrates the most neglected but valuable emotion we can feel: melancholy. Melancholy isn’t depression, rage, or bitterness.  It’s a serene, wise, and kindly response to the difficulties of being alive. It helps us navigate a wise and rational middle ground between extreme despair and naïve optimism.


But melancholy is a well-kept secret. It isn't celebrated or recommended. It remains relatively unexplored in a hyper-competitive, noisy, frantic age.


This book carefully collects and interprets a wide range of universally recognizable forms of melancholy, rendering us less confused by our precious yet elusive feelings. We discover everything from the melancholy of a Sunday evening and the melancholy of adolescence to the melancholy of parties and the infatuated melancholy of having a crush.


Offering a rich and varied portrait of melancholy and its range of emotions, this book leads the reader toward deeper insight, more authentic acceptance, and more honest self-compassion.


  • AN IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A COMPLEX EMOTION through the lens of art, architecture, literature, and philosophy.
  • HOW TO INTERPRET AND ACCEPT our melancholy moods.
  • INCREASE SELF AWARENESS through meditating on melancholy.
  • EXAMINES 35 VARIETIES OF MELANCHOLY including: Dating and Melancholy, Loneliness and Melancholy, Adolescence and Melancholy, and Politics and Melancholy.

Varieties of Melancholy: A hopeful guide to our somber moods

SKU: 9781912891603RAIN
Out of Stock