'Our virtues are, most often, only vices in disguise.'
Deceptively brief and insidiously easy to read, La Rochefoucauld's shrewd, unflattering analyses of human behaviour have influenced writers, thinkers, and public figures as various as Voltaire, Proust, de Gaulle, Nietzsche, and Conan Doyle. The author gave himself the following advice: 'The reader's best policy is to assume that none of these maxims is directed at him, and that he is the sole exception...After that, I guarantee that he will be the first to subscribe to them.'
This is the fullest collection of La Rochefoucauld's writings ever published in English, and includes the first complete translation of the Reflexions diverses (Miscellaneous Reflections). A table of alternative maxim numbers and an index of topics help the reader to locate any maxim quickly and to appreciate the full range of La Rochefoucauld's thought on any of his favourite themes, such as self-love, vice and virtue, love and jealousy, friendship and self-interest,
passion and pride.
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