And he tackled it as a novelist, not just a thinker. Published when he was just 23, Essays in Love was a reflection on the complexities of falling in and out of the sticky stuff.
The Course of Love is his first novel in 20 years, and charts the path of an ordinary marriage. Broadsheet chatted to de Botton about the book ahead of his Australian tour in July. How have your ideas on love changed?
Just how ongoing the difficulties are, and how everybody is really crazy. Although our culture is really interested in the opening moments of love, really, most of us are interested in long-term love. You talk a lot about romanticism. What is romanticism and where did it come from? What we Alain de botton sydney romanticism is latching onto one of the most exciting bits about life — being with someone new and the headiness of a new partner. What romanticism has done is take feelings and join them up to the bourgeois idea of marriage, which is relatively new, historically.