Welcome to the Santayana Edition


The Santayana Edition, part of the Institute for American Thought (IAT), produces The Works of George Santayana, an unmodernized, critical edition of George Santayana’s published and unpublished writings. The critical editing process aims to produce texts that accurately represent Santayana’s final intentions regarding his works, and to present all evidence on which editorial decisions have been based. The Works of George Santayana is projected to be 20 volumes consisting of at least 35 books. It is published by The MIT Press (Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England), is supported by the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts, Indianapolis, and has been honored with generous supporting grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

National Endowment

Watch the editors talk about their work and George Santayana.

Review Santayana Edition News. Read the Editors’ Blog.


    Letters in Limbo ~ April 5, 1946

    To Rosamond Thomas Bennett Sturgis
    Via Santo Stefano Rotondo, 6
    Rome. April 5, 1946

    Dear Rosamond:

    Yesterday came your parcel with heat pads and soap. Thank you very much. Soap is always in season, and not to be bought here except (I suppose) in the black market. The heat pads are late for the winter of this year, but will be useful when the autumn comes and interesting as a mechanical novelty—an application, as it were, of atomic bombs for the home and for the stomach. My critics used to upbraid me, when I said I was a materialist, by urging that matter was something passive and dead, but I hope they are now discovering that it is surprisingly explosive. When I warm my feet or my stomach with your pads, I shall meditate on the kindly way in which iron particles can communicate their secret vitality to torpid old age and to a lazy spirit.

    I am reading a book in two volumes by Stalin on Leninism, in an excellent Italian translation. There are a lot of interesting books to be had in Italian cheap if one only hears of them. Stalin is very clear and frank. We are all to be liquidated. The question is whether somebody won’t want to liquidate the liquidaters. Spring has come, trees are green and blooming, and I am working nicely on my next book.

    Yours affectionately

    G Santayana

    From The Letters of George Santayana:  Book Seven, 1941–1947.  Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2006.
    Location of manuscript:The Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge MA.

    Read more link text