College of Letters & Science

Love and Happiness: Eros According to Dante, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and the Rev. Al Green

 Love and Happiness: Eros According to Dante, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and the Rev. Al Green
Author Name
Additional Author(s)
Rhonda Mawhood Lee
Publication Date
January 20, 2015

Love and Happiness is a profound meditation on the meaning of eros, the creative and disturbing power usually thought of as romantic love. Four of the greatest artists of the Western world lead a pilgrimage through the erotic cosmos, exploring real-world dilemmas that they knew well and that still bedevil us. First we follow in Dante’s footsteps from Inferno to Paradiso, then Shakespeare is our guide to Hell, Jane Austen to Purgatory, and Al Green to Paradise. Some of their stories are horrifying, showing the devastation that warped love can wreak. Some are inspiring, helping us imagine what a gift love can be in our own lives. Reading these stories together, Love and Happiness offers a vision of love that’s complex, sobering, and ultimately deeply comforting.