Letter: Pursuit of happiness

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The Independent Online
Sir: The quest for happiness (Letters, 24 November) goes back before the 18th century. About 1654, a new student of Brasenose College, Oxford, the most Puritan college, searched in vain for a tutor in felicity - happiness - which he called 'the mistress of all other sciences'. He returned to his native Herefordshire to pursue the subject further, and eventually began an encyclopaedia of happiness called Commentaries of Heaven.

The book was unknown for 300 years, but the unpublished manuscript was found on fire on a burning rubbish dump in Lancashire in the 1960s.

Yours sincerely,

RICHARD BIRT

Weobley, Hereford and Worcester

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