Edmund Burke: A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (Prairie State Books)

This most comprehensive anthology provides an authoritative insight into Burke's political life and philosophy. Stanlis' introduction and headnotes to each selection clarify the historical context of each section, and include a brief analytical interpretation. He incorporates all of Burke's essential writings and speeches, from the decade before he entered politics until just before his death.

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By Chris (Oakland, CA) · ★★☆☆☆ · July 25, 2011
If you are into philosophy enough to find this obscure book on your own then you probably would be better off not reading it. It is a very well written, very well thought out work, but at points can be extremely repetitive and short.There are sections where you would hope that Burke would go into... ...more
By Emily (The United States) · ★★★★★ · April 22, 2012
The question with this kind of book is: what can the contemporary reader get out of it? If you are looking for a book that will actually tell you something about the nature of beauty and sublimity, you'll probably find Burke's argument to be dated, strange, somewhat irrelevant, and sometimes unin... ...more
By Andrew (China) · ★★★★☆ · August 09, 2014
Fun book. Author makes distinctions between the sublime (or the great) and beauty. The level of detail is fascinating, and at some points quite humorous. Jagged, repetitious, infinite-like, dark, and huge things are likely to be sublime - if they cause us some terror. When we are brought to the t... ...more
By J. Alfred (Bloomsburg, PA) · ★★★☆☆ · September 02, 2011
Not something I'd read for fun, but I think I'm smarter for having finished it. It is a solid philosophical inquiry into the origin of our ideas of the sublime and beautiful, as you may have been able to guess from its title. It is apparently a foundational text for the aesthetics of the Romantic... ...more
By eliza (Somerville, MA) · October 13, 2009
Found this at a Brooklyn bookstall while wandering half-drunk after an all-night Williamsburg loft party. Consequently, Burke will forever be in my mind a raging trust-fund hipster. ...more
By §-- (Washington, DC) · ★★★☆☆ · August 06, 2014
Thought-provoking, but still something of a slog to get through. Burke subjectivizes aesthetics but avoids relativizing it, and, in so doing, essentially founds Romanticism. In this he is quintessentially modern: rather than explaining the objective, he turns inward. And this is interesting, but... ...more
By John (Edmonton, AB, Canada) · ★★★★★ · April 01, 2013
Are the literary and visual arts in the midst of a Gothic revival? Twilight in print and on the screen, two Sleeping Beauty films at pretty much the same time, Lemony Snicket and Harry Potter and umpteen other children’s and adult series. And less than a decade ago Damon and Ledger as the Brother... ...more
By Liza (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★★★★ · January 07, 2009
From 'Of the Passions Which Belong to Society'

The passions belonging to the preservation of the individual turn wholly on pain and danger: those which belong to generation have their origin in gratifications and pleasures; the pleasure most directly belonging to this purpose is of a lively charac... ...more
By Jennifer (Orlando, FL) · ★★★★☆ · October 12, 2010
I had to read this book for a Gothic Literature class this semester, and I am surprised with how frequently I quote the ideas I have learned. Burke takes an almost scientific route at relating his ideas, beginning with a statement, then moving forward to provide reasons for his statement and givi... ...more
By dameolga (Little Rock, AR) · ★★★☆☆ · November 16, 2011
"It was not my design to enter into the criticism of the sublime and beautiful in any art, but to attempt to lay down such principles as may tend to ascertain, to distinguish, and to form a sort of standard for them; which purposes I though might be best affected by an enquiry into the properties... ...more