American Philosophy

George Herbert Mead

How did George Santayana spend his last years?

At the outbreak of World War II, Santayana found himself in Rome. He was unable to access his U.S. bank accounts and so took very modest accommodations in the Clinica della Piccola campagna di Maria (Clinic of the Little Company of Mary). This clinic was run by an order that, because of the color of their habits, were known as “The Blue Nuns.” Santayana ended up spending 13 years there, until he died. Originally, he stayed on because he liked the safety of the convent as a refuge from the war. But in time he came to appreciate its old fashioned ways away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, for their own sake.


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