Library staff recommendation: The Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins
Foreword by Ian Fleming
824.008 Se82f Greenfield Open Stacks

This compilation of essays, one for each sin, is accompanied by a series of woodcuts entitled The Seven Deadly Sins and the Devil from 1480-1490. The woodcut on the title page is my favorite; it is “The World” from 1414 and personifies all seven sins. The woodcuts first attracted me to this book, but the essays are just as beautiful and witty.

Famous authors such as novelist Angus Wilson and poets Edith Sitwell and W. H. Auden each interpret and analyze a sin. In his introduction to the works, Ian Fleming (writer of the James Bond novels) notes that such an “examination of these famous sins by some of the keenest brains of today has led me to the dreadful conclusion that in fact all these ancient sins, compared with the sins of today, are in fact very close to virtues.”

Read these essays and enjoy the woodcuts – and see if you agree with Mr. Fleming.

Recommended by Shannon Robinson