A Short Philosophy of the Sea

Original title: Petite philosophie de la Mer

Author: Devillairs, Laurence

Publication Date:

May 2022



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French

Territories Sold

Bulgaria (Znaci)
Netherlands (De Bezige Bij, in a preempt)
Catalan (Angle)
Germany (PRH Verlagsgruppe, at auction)
South Korea (FIKA, at auction)


Personal Development

Number of copies sold:


Foreign Covers

PRH Verlagsgruppe

A Short Philosophy of the Sea

Original title: Petite philosophie de la Mer

Author: Devillairs, Laurence


The philosophy of Laurence Devillairs helps us to live and rejoices the heart — Frédéric Lenoir

What this little philosophy is really inventing is a language of the sea, whose sounds and words penetrate our flesh and soul. Laurence Devillairs imposes her liberating music on the waves: a practical and sensitive wisdom that emerges from the depths of the sea. An aquatic ethic. […] A small treatise on moral philosophy that emerges from the depths of the oceans and from existential wounds. In a succession of waves, like chapters exploring the hidden waters of our affections, she listens to what the sea teaches us. — Philomag

23 little lessons about life and philosophy to reconnect with the majestic and untamed within us. The sea is life, and more than that: the meaning of life. It shows what it means to exist, whether you are an admiral or a simple sailor. She delivers lessons and advice for those who know how to listen, to settle down, in silence, to receive her philosophy.  Patricia Martin, L’heure philo, France Inter

I recommend this fascinating and beautiful little manual of the sea. — Laurent Ruquier, RTL

A book that shows us the sea as a metaphor for our inner storms. — France Inter

A work that shows us that we can philosophize about anything. — France culture

A book about seeing life all in blue! — Europe 1

Neither personal development nor a meditation lesson: we are dealing with a very fine piece of intelligence that opens our eyes, listens to the surf. To be savoured lying down, with just the right amount of vagueness in the soul… — Le Point

In successive waves, [Laurence Devillairs] listens to what the sea has to teach us. — Philosophie magazine

In this book, Laurence Devillairs talks of dangers and the unknown, of evasion and freedom. — Ouest-France

After the success of A Short Philosophy of Birds, which has been translated in 20 foreign countries and has sold 10,000 copies in France alone, here is the second title in this collection that shares deep wisdom with the general public. Nearly two dozen life lessons that the sea and its natural phenomena can give us, if we know how to observe them.

Now more than ever, we feel the need to focus on the essential: the air that keeps us alive, the trees that protect us, and the sea that teaches us about the immensity and how to contemplate it.

This book is the second volume in a collection that is teaching us to listen to the lessons in wisdom that nature can give us. After the international success of A Short Philosophy of Birds, what could be better than breaking the infernal tempo of our lives once again to listen to the gentle lapping of the tide? Through its ebb and flow, its way of covering the world and being so silently necessary to us, the great blue lady that is the sea can teach us a lifestyle that is more respectful of our natural rhythms, and more profound as well.

A Short Philosophy of the Sea delivers nearly two dozen short and sweet life lessons that help us re-discover the natural being that’s breathing deep inside us.


Marine Depths Chapter: Cultivating Your Inner Sea

No water ever looks like any other, each one has its winds and its colors.

We too are stirred by our secret lives, by ever-changing inner seas with unknown depths. Just as we can’t see the bottom of the sea, we don’t know everything we carry inside us.

[…] There is, inside each of us, an intact world as untamed as the seas and the oceans, where we have a sense of rediscovering ourselves. We need to navigate those waters. Without letting ourselves be submerged too often by imposed roles or borrowed identities. […]

We don’t yet know our own abysses, our underwater mountains or peaks. Rather than dreading them, we should, on the contrary, seek to preserve them.

Marketing Information

  • English sample available
  • A beneficial voyage back to nature for these troubled times, in a similar vein to such best-sellers as The Hidden Life of Trees (Les Arènes, 2017: 700,000 copies sold in France, GFK stats).
  • Success of the previous volume in the collection, A Short Philosophy of Birds (La Martinière, 2019):  rights sold in 20 different countries! 10,000 copies sold in France.

Foreign Covers

PRH Verlagsgruppe