« Liber Amoris


When he was 42 years old, William Hazlitt, perhaps England's greatest literary critic, became wildly infatuated with Sarah Walker, the 19-year-old daughter of his landlord. Three years later he published, anonymously, an unvarnished – many would say appalling – account of his erotomania. He had a very good reason for writing Liber Amoris, one that has been more than adequate to explain a great many literary indiscretions: he needed money. He certainly bestowed little of his valuable time or talent on it: he hastily transcribed a few conversations with Sarah, as best he remembered them, as Part I; he then copied into the text, with almost no editorial changes, the letters that he wrote to his closest friends about his pursuit of her. The whole of it is mercifully brief, using up one hundred pages solely by means of large print and generous spacing.

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About Stephen Kennamer

For several years I have taught a course titled The Anthropology of Evil. I chose the term “anthropology,” not to indicate a restriction to the study of evil among primitive tribes, but rather to widen the lens to take in every relevant discipline: history, philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology, and current events.

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