Books by George Santayana

The pagination in these digital editions matches the pagination in the printed critical editions.

Persons and Places (1944, 1945, and 1953) PDF EPUB

The Sense of Beauty (1896) PDF EPUB

Interpretations of Poetry and Religion (1900) PDF EPUB

The Last Puritan (1935, 1936, and 1937) PDF EPUB

The Letters of George Santayana:

Book 1 [1868]–1909 PDF

Book 2 1910–1920 PDF

Book 3 1921–1927 PDF

Book 4 1928–1932 PDF

Book 5 1933–1936 PDF

Book 6 1937-1940 PDF

Book 7 1941–1947 PDF

Book 8 1948–1952 PDF

The Life of Reason:

Introduction and Reason in Common Sense (1905) PDF

Reason in Society (1905) PDF

Reason in Religion (1905) PDF

Reason in Art (1905) PDF

Reason in Science (1906) PDF

Three Philosophical Poets: Lucretius, Dante, and Goethe (1910) PDF

Archival materials

Hastings Aesthetics Lectures Notebook

The above link leads to a separate site presenting a scan and a transcription of the notebook of Horatius Bonar Hastings, a student who attended Santayana’s 1892–93 aesthetics lectures (offered as Phil 8). These lectures formed the basis for Santayana’s The Sense of Beauty (1896), which has become a classic in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. For more information, see this brief history of the notebook or consult the article “Santayana’s Lectures on Aesthetics,” Overheard in Seville: Bulletin of the George Santayana Society, 22, 2004, 23–28.

Translation of Aristotle’s Metaphysics

The above link leads to a separate site presenting a scan and a transcription of Santayana’s holograph manuscript of his partial translation of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, written out while he was tutoring a couple of philosophy students. You can also read an introduction to Santayana’s translation by the transcriber of the manuscript: Introduction to Santayana’s translation of Aristotle’s Metaphysics.

Agustín Letters

The above link leads to a separate site presenting a scan and a transcription of 110 letters from Agustín Santayana to his son George Santayana. The letters span the twenty years from 1873 to 1893 and reveal origins of and influences on George Santayana’s love for thinking. While quoted by scholars and George Santayana himself, these letters have never been published. This collection of documents also includes a letter Agustín wrote to his daughter Susana, a letter Susana wrote to George, a list of goods and their prices from an unnamed market, and the last will and testament of Agustín Ruiz de Santayana y Reboiro. The Santayana Edition is grateful to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University for the permission to reproduce the documents here.

Westenholz Letters

The above link leads to a separate site presenting a scan and a transcription of 60 letters (dating from 1903 to 1937) from George Santayana to his friend Baron Albert Wilhelm Freiherrn von Westenholz (1879–1939)—in addition to assorted manuscripts, photographs, and drawings. Westenholz, whom Sanatayana identified as “one of my truest friends” (Santayana, Persons and Places, 261), studied at Harvard when Santayana was a professor. Santayana and Westenholz later met several times in Europe, including visits by Santayana to Westenholz’s home in Hamburg. Eventually their personal meetings ceased, but they maintained a correspondence that allowed the “friendship to become intellectually closer in later years, without seeming to require personal contacts” (Santayana, Persons and Places, 262). In 2001, the “Textual Commentary” to The Letters of George Santayana, Book One [1868]–1909 (The MIT Press, 2001) noted that “[n]one of the letters that Santayana wrote to his friend Baron Albert von Westenholz have been located” (Letters 1, 422). In 2016, the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University noted the addition of the letters Santayana wrote to Westenholz to their archival collection of George Santayana Papers. The Santayana Edition is grateful to Columbia University for permission to reproduce the letters here. See the transcriber’s notes for the methodology applied to the transcriptions.

Autobiography Notebook I – IV (Notebook I, Notebook II, Notebook III, Notebook IV, Transcriber’s Notes)

This is a collection of four notebooks containing handwritten material for Santayana’s autobiography, Persons and Places (originally published in three books: Persons and Places [1944], The Middle Span [1945], and My Host the World [1953]). They are written mainly in pencil in ruled composition books. The notebooks were used by the Santayana Edition as pre-copy-text documents for the critical edition of the autobiography, which published the three books together as one under the title Persons and Places, Volume I of The Works of George Santayana (The MIT Press, 1986). Most of the notebook contents are rough drafts of material that eventually appeared in Persons and Places, with a few exceptions—“Notes on the Ethics of the Old Testament” and “Alexander in Olympus” in Notebook I are apparently drafts of unpublished essays. It is likely that these notebooks were composed over a number of years, though exact dates are uncertain. The transcriptions presented were completed by Santayana Edition staff and the images are from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University. The notebooks are numbered I-IV, but the numbering has evidently been done by the librarians of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University for the purposes of cataloguing and bears no relation to the probable dates of inscription of the individual notebooks. The numbering of the notebooks is, in fact, directly contrary to the order in which they relate to the later fair-copy stage of the autobiography.

Loeser Letters

This collection contains 27 letters written by Santayana between 1886 and 1912 to friend and Harvard classmate Charles Alexander Loeser (1864–1928). The early letters are highly philosophical, while the later letters more often discuss the logistics of meeting when both are traveling in Europe and provide updates on Santayana’s life. This gives the reader a sense of Santayana’s progression through his graduate student and faculty career at Harvard. The collection is housed at Houghton Library, the principal repository for rare books and manuscripts at Harvard University, along with letters written to Loeser by philosopher William James.

Santayana’s Cartoons for the Harvard Lampoon (temporarily offline)

Santayana’s biographer wrote, “Between February 9, 1883, and June 25, 1886, no fewer than fifty-one of Santayana’s cartoons appeared [in the Harvard Lampoon]. Despite any apparent irony, it is entirely logical that the author of such works as Realms of Being and Dominations and Powers should have begun his public career as a cartoonist. In addition to manual skill, that art requires an attentive eye, thoughtfulness, and a distinct point of view, qualities that would mark Santayana’s best work as an author” (John McCormick, George Santayana: A Biography, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987, 38). Santayana in his autobiography reported that, as a freshman at Harvard, he met two seniors who encouraged him to draw for the Harvard Lampoon. Santayana submitted a drawing; the Lampoon Board accepted it and asked him to submit more. “Naturally, I did so;” he wrote, “and was thereupon elected a member of the Lampoon Board” (Persons and Places, 186–7). Santayana recounted, “I never wrote for the Lampoon; even the text for my sketches was usually supplied for me by the others, who knew the idioms required. My English was too literary, too lady-like, too correct for such a purpose; and I never acquired, or liked, the American art of perpetual joking. What we printed was a severe selection from what we uttered: it had to be local, new or fresh, and at least apparently decent. Speech in this circle, if not always decent, never became lewd” (Persons and Places, 188). This digital collection presents thirty-five of Santayana’s Lampoon drawings.