Literary Inspiration: Anne Radcliffe on Happiness

Happiness arises in a state of peace, not of tumult.
-Anne Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1764).

Those of us who have grown up reading the classics will recognise "The Mysteries of Udolpho" as the novel that Catherine reads in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. Like many (including several of the characters of the novel Jane Austen Book Club) I always believed that this was a novel that Ms Austen made up to carry a particular theme into the book - wrong! It's a real book filled with little tidbits like the one above.

I think true happiness lies in feeling the bliss of moments; my favourite moments lately seem to consist of quiet nights - calmly eating my way through a delicious dinner with the boy, admiring the tinfoil swan my leftovers came in, lying in bed talking about hopes and dreams, holding hands in silence on a drive through dark countrysides, walking through a school and hearing "Hi miss! How are you enjoying (school name redacted)?". Happiness is in the face of my high school drama teacher squealing with joy because she sees me, in the little desk that my associate teachers have created for me in the block staff room, in the chocolate soy milk waiting in the fridge for me tonight. What is the peace that you find your happiness in?


  1. I find peace in the fact that while I'm asleep, special someone's send me emails for me to read & reread in the morning.

    Yay for blissful relationships.

  2. great post. :) I find peace in snuggling on the couch with my beloved watching tv, having a pot tea for myself and spending time alone to reflect, and sitting on my balcony looking at the beauty of nature. I feel relaxed just thinking abt this stuff. lol