Search - List of Books by Wilferd Arlan Peterson

Wilferd Arlan Peterson (August 21, 1900 - June 2, 1995) was an American author who wrote for This Week magazine (a national Sunday supplement in newspapers) for many years. For twenty-five years, he wrote a monthly column for Science of Mind magazine. He published nine books starting in 1949 with The art of getting along: Inspiration for triumphant daily living."

Wilferd Peterson was born in Whitehall, Michigan and lived most of his life in Grand Rapids, where he was the Vice President and Creative Director of an advertising firm, the Jaqua Company. A prolific writer for various industry publications, his inspirational essays began to appear on the "Words To Live By" page of This Week magazine in 1960 (which was distributed in 42 metropolitan Sunday newspapers with over 13 million readers). Letters of praise from admiring readers led to the publication of The Art of Living, the first of a series of books that would sell millions of copies. Essays in this book were also recorded by William J. Nichols, editor of This Week magazine, to produce an album called "The Golden Album of Inspiration."

Mr. Peterson was regarded as "one of the best loved American writers of the 20th century, renowned for his inspirational wisdom and aphoristic wit" by the Independent Publishers Group. He was a frequent contributor to This Week magazine, Science of Mind magazine and Readers Digest.

His ten books, published by Harmony Press, Simon & Schuster, Hay House and BBS Publishing Company have spanned 37 years and have been printed in six different languages. Wilferd Peterson was awarded the George Washington medal from Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge for "outstanding achievement in bringing about a better understanding of American way of life." BBS Publishing Co. described Wilferd Peterson's essays as promoting "healthy and peaceful living."

His published works include: The Art of Getting Along (1949), The Art of Living (1961), The New Book of the Art of Living (1962, 1963), More about the Art of Living (1966), Adventures in the Art of Living (1968), The Art of Living in the World Today (1969), The Art of Living Day by Day (1972), The Art of Living Treasure Chest (1977), The Art of Creative Thinking (1991) and The Art of Living: Thoughts on Meeting the Challenge of Life (1993).

His greatest influences from other writers and philosophers include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Abraham Lincoln, among many others. His contemporaries include Norman Vincent Peale and Dale Carnegie, and current writers and philosophers such as Jack Canfield and Brian Tracy have referred to Wilferd Peterson's works.

His inspirational essays were made into greeting cards, calendars and gift books, which appeared in Hallmark stores from 1970 through 1980. His essays have appeared in Dear Abby's column (, used within Blue Mountain Arts ( gift books and Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul (, and specific quotes from his works appear in Quotable Cards (, available at major retailers and gift stores. Now there is a product available called the Art of Marriage Photo Frame (, which features The Art of Marriage essay foil-stamped on a mat, and includes an insert for a 5"x7" engagement, wedding or anniversary photo. A portion of the proceeds of this product will support the Art of Marriage Foundation.

He is best known for his poem The Art of Marriage (often used as a reading at wedding ceremonies) about marriage, commitment and love which was published in book form by Souvenir Press in April 2006.

'The Art of MarriageWilferd A. Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.

A good marriage must be created.In marriage the little things are the big things...

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is at no time taking the other for granted;the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.It is standing together facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitudeof duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciationand demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is not looking for perfection in each other.It is cultivating flexibility, patience,understanding and a sense of humour.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.

About The Art of Marriage essay - shorter/popular version (

His most well known writing, The Art of Marriage, has been called by Souvenir Press the "most frequently recited English-language wedding poems and one of the greatest odes to matrimony. It embodies the sentiments, the ideals, and the love to which any marriage aspires. The memorable simplicity of its language makes the poem a touchstone for all couples, both at the start of a relationship and after the blessings of a lifetime in love."

This essay has stood the test of time, circulating with recommendations from couple to couple for almost half a century (and currently on Internet message boards and discussion groups), and is widely used in ceremony readings and printed in wedding programs. Wilferd Peterson's daughter, Lilian Thorpe, has said "this essay has been known to save marriages!" and his granddaughter, Judith Shepherd, has given a framed version of this essay as a gift to many friends over the years. According to Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway, a wedding officiant in New York City and editor of the wedding blog (, the essay was read at Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward's Las Vegas wedding ceremony in 1958, and their marriage is one of the longest lasting Hollywood marriages on record! (

Wilferd Peterson was married to Ruth Irene Rector Peterson in 1921 (she died in 1979, one month after celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary). 58 years! He credits his wife Ruth as being the inspiration for his work (saying that while he "wrote about the art of living, she lived it"), and they collaborated often on producing these inspirational books.

This author page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Wilferd Arlan Peterson", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0
Total Books: 3
The Art of Marriage
2006 - The Art of Marriage (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780285637207
ISBN-10: 0285637207
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Crafts, Hobbies & Home

The Art of Creative Thinking/131
1991 - The Art of Creative Thinking/131 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781561700042
ISBN-10: 1561700045
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Reference, Religion & Spirituality

The Art of Living Treasure Chest
1977 - The Art of Living Treasure Chest (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780671228477
ISBN-10: 0671228471
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Christian Books & Bibles