Arthur Farndell’s new translation, On the Nature of Love has been chosen as a finalist in The People’s Book Prize. Thanks to all who voted in the heats. Please vote again in the finals at the link below.

“Ways of falling in love” was one of the topics discussed when nine men gathered at Careggi, outside Florence, on November 7th 1468, to honour Plato’s birthday. After the meal, his Symposium was read, and the guests – now reduced to seven – spoke on the nature of love. Other topics they covered include: “It is easy to fall in love. Falling in love. The kinds of people that make us fall in love. The passions of lovers. What lovers seek. The power of Love. The gifts of Love.”

Ficino, who was also present, recorded what was said, and his report constitutes the text of his commentary to the Symposium. His work was eagerly taken up by court circles throughout Europe and became part of their standard fare for the next two centuries. Writers and artists were inspired by it. The topic of idealised love, so evident in Shakespeare’s plays, immediately resonated with the makers and shakers of many countries, particularly Italy, France, Spain, and England. In more recent times, Ficino’s commentary has exercised the minds of theologians, philosophers, and psychologists.

Here are some comments from voters who chose the book in the heats:

“If you want to know what Love really is, read this book! This is a grand offering of love.”
“Ficino appears to be at one with the mind of Plato. The translator seems to be at one with the mind of Ficino.”
“This is an important work with a salient message for our times. It has been methodically and lovingly translated by Mr Farndell and deserves every accolade.”