Fiction

Plato: Letters to my Son

ISBN-10: 0956035388, RPR £9.99
Published March 2013

An eagle’s old age is better than the youth of a sparrow. —Greek proverb

‘Letters to my Son’ is inspired by an obscure and apocryphal fragment in Diogenes Laertius purporting to be Plato’s will, in which the great philosopher bequeaths his possessions to his son Adimantes. Burton runs with this idea, ‘channelling’ Plato dictating letters to this mysterious son from his deathbed. Plato never married, and moreover was likely a homosexual who overtly eschewed family life. Therefore, this intriguing literary device leaves the reader guessing as to the boy’s true relationship to the much older man … The union of genuine philosophical exposition with the format of an instructive letter recalls Seneca’s ‘Letters to Lucilius’. Burton excels at this Stoic style: to the point, witty, and easy to read. —The Spectator

Buy it here