|Category||Equipment > Books|
|Read Online||Project Gutenberg|
Rasselas, originally titled The Prince of Abissinia: A Tale, though often abbreviated to Rasselas, is an apologue about happiness by Samuel Johnson. The book's original working title was "The Choice of Life". He wrote the piece in only one week to help pay the costs of his mother's funeral, intending to complete it on 22 January 1759 (the eve of his mother's death). The book was first published in April 1759 in England. Johnson is believed to have received a total of £75 for the copyright. The first American edition followed in 1768. The title page of this edition carried a quotation, inserted by the publisher Robert Bell, from La Rochefoucauld: "The labour or Exercise of the Body, freeth Man from the Pains of the Mind; and this constitutes the Happiness of the Poor".