The Society of Timid Souls

Best Seller
The Society of Timid Souls by Polly Morland
Ebook $13.99

Jul 09, 2013 | 320 Pages

  • Ebook $13.99

    Jul 09, 2013 | 320 Pages

Praise

Longlisted for the 2013 Guardian first book award

“Lively prose…Morland has written a wise and often moving account of a diverse group of extraordinary people who exemplify the bravery that inspires.”Richmond Times Dispatch

“Morland’s stories are well told and thought-provoking, and she has provided a wonderfully readable narrative.” Roanoke Times

“The book’s greatest strength is the author’s brisk, witty voice, which conveys the seriousness of her subject in an agreeably light, humanistic tone… her journey is in turns thought-provoking, amusing and heartbreaking.” Kirkus Reviews

“We all have a private definition of courage, which (I’ve concluded) we take to be universal; but as Polly Morland shows, there are all kinds of courage, and no necessary agreement on what it means. It’s one of those books which encourages a reader to think again: always a good thing, in my view.” –Hilary Mantel, author of Bringing Up the Bodies

“Polly Morland has written a beautiful and extremely moving book about the quintessentially human trait of bravery.  A widely recognized concept that almost no one really understands, bravery has long needed a serious exploration like The Society of Timid Souls.  It is gorgeously written, deeply felt, and sharply researched.  This is one of the few books I know that leaves me literally grateful to the writer for doing the work they do.  I loved it.” – Sebastian Junger, author of WAR

“Using her documentarian’s eye, Polly Morland has written a moving and deeply personal book; an examination of courage brimming with humanity.”
Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire

“Humans – from the Bronze Age onwards, when we first start to set down ideas about ourselves – have long asked, ‘What is it to be brave?’ With originality, wit, and no little gumption, Polly Morland pursues this same question. Thanks to hundreds of sensitive, face-to-face interviews, her paean to timidity – as well as to bravery – is salutatory and moving. This work reminds us that bravery and courage can be a gift of others, and not something that we struggle for alone.”
Bettany Hughes, author of The Hemlock Cup

“A dazzling synthesis of reportage, moral philosophy and memoir, Polly Morland’s anatomy of courage moves effortlessly from the bullring and the battlefield to the concert hall and the maternity ward. Searching, startling and richly humane, this is the kind of book that reads you as you read it. A great achievement.” – Matthew Sweet, author of Inventing the Victorians

“With The Society of Timid Souls, Polly Morland expertly weaves scores of riveting stories, fascinating interviews, and exotic experiences into a ceaselessly engaging investigation of our most elevated virtue.  We witness ordinary humans taking extraordinary action on the battlefields, bullrings, big waves, and even lunch counters of this life, and at each turn, would-be timid souls summon resolve in the face of unbearable challenges.  For journeying into her own self-doubt, for reminding us of our glorious potential, and for assembling a cast of courageous souls to inspire us to reach it, Polly Morland herself deserves a medal.”
Aron Ralston, author of Between a Rock and a Hard Place

“Polly Morland’s voice is warm yet very smart, and she’s collected some cracking good stories.” – Lionel Shriver, author of We Need to Talk About Kevin

“Morland skips lightly where angels fear to tread. Her book has astonishing range…bracing, moving, and uncommon.” The Guardian

“It’s all about voice, as Polly Morland demonstrates in her eccentric, hugely likable debut.” – The Times (London)

“An appealing and original account of one of the greatest human virtues, full of powerful stories. It leaves you hopeful.”– The Sunday Times

“Morland investigates the origins of our greatest fears and meets people who have behaved with courage… The results are thought-provoking, insightful and fascinating.” –The Irish Times

“Well worth reading. Morland…wonders what courage is, without being absolutely determined to come up with a definition.” The Spectator

“Morland is not remotely mawkish. Her tone is bracing, while her book is part self-help guide, part moral philosophy.” The Mail on Sunday


From the Hardcover edition.

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