I travelled the world and trawled the archive to unearth the hidden lessons from history’s most brilliant people
if you seek the truth, consult the original primary sources; the rest is simply hearsay
The secret to her success? Elizabeth not only read books voraciously (three hours a day was her wont) but also people. She read, she studied, she observed, and she kept her mouth shut
Thus, a last class takeaway applicable to all: be on guard if there’s a genius in your midst. If you work for a genius, you might be berated or abused, or you could lose your job. If someone close to you is a genius, you might find that his or her work or passion always comes first. Yet to those so abused, made miserable or redundant, exploited or ignored, sincere thanks is in order for ‘taking one for the team’, the team being all of us who subsequently benefit from the greater cultural good that ‘your’ genius has done. To paraphrase the writer Edmond de Goncourt: almost no one loves the genius until he or she is dead. But then we do, because now life is better.