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Essays

Most popular at the top

  • The Decay of Lying: And Other Essaysby Oscar Wilde

    Penguin Books Ltd 2010; US$ 11.18

    In 'The Decay of Lying' Oscar Wilde uses his decadent ideology in an attempt to reverse and therefore reject his audiences' 'normal' conceptualizations of nature, art and morality. Wilde's views of life and art are illustrated through the use of Platonic dialogue where the character Vivian takes on the persona of Wilde. Wilde's goal is to subvert the... more...

  • Nothing...Except My Geniusby Oscar Wilde; Alastair Rolfe

    Penguin Books Ltd 1997; US$ 11.18

    'I have nothing to declare', Wilde once told an American customs official, 'except my genius'. A socialite, a wit, a man who flaunted convention and was unafraid to shock, Oscar Wilde was a great writer and a great man. This new collection of wit and wisdom demonstrates the brilliance of his vision, the audacity of his style. Such is the scope of the... more...

  • Night Walksby Charles Dickens

    Penguin Books Ltd 2010; US$ 7.98

    Charles Dickens describes in Night Walks his time as an insomniac, when he decided to cure himself by walking through London in the small hours, and discovered homelessness, drunkenness and vice on the streets. This collection of essays shows Dickens as one of the greatest visionaries of the city in all its variety and cruelty. GREAT IDEAS.... more...

  • Silly Novels by Lady Novelistsby George Eliot

    Penguin Books Ltd 2010; US$ 7.98

    Describing the silliness and 'feminine fatuity' of many popular books by lady novelists, George Eliot perfectly skewers the formulaic yet bestselling works that dominated her time, with their loveably flawed heroines. She also examines the great women writers of France and their enrichment of the culture, and the varying qualities of literary translations.... more...

  • An Apology for Idlersby Robert Louis Stevenson

    Penguin Books Ltd 2009; US$ 7.98

    An irresistible invitation to reject the work ethic and enjoy life's simple pleasures (such as laughing, drinking and lying in the open air), Robert Louis Stevenson's witty and seminal essay on the joys of idleness is accompanied here by his writings on, among other things, growing old, visiting unpleasant places and the overwhelming experience of... more...

  • Selected Essaysby Samuel Johnson

    Penguin Books Ltd 2003; US$ 23.98

    This volume contains a generous selection from the essays Johnson published twice weekly as 'The Rambler' in the early 1750s. It was here that he first created the literary character and forged the distinctive prose style that established him as a public figure. Also included here is the best of Johnson's later journalism, including essays from the... more...

  • Consolation in the Face of Deathby Samuel Johnson

    Penguin Books Ltd 2009; US$ 7.98

    In his moving essay, Samuel Johnson offers wise words on confronting grief at the loss of a loved one. The other pieces here, ranging from art to marriage to morality, demonstrate the brilliance, perception and wit that made Johnson the leading man of letters of his day, and one of the finest essayists in the English language. Throughout history,... more...

  • Decline of the English Murderby George Orwell

    Penguin Books Ltd 2009; US$ 7.98

    In these timeless and witty essays George Orwell explores the English love of reading about a good murder in the papers (and laments the passing of the heyday of the 'perfect' murder involving class, sex and poisoning), as well as unfolding his trenchant views on everything from boys' weeklies to naughty seaside postcards. Throughout history,... more...

  • Frank Sinatra Has a Coldby Gay Talese

    Penguin Books Ltd 2011; US$ 15.98

    Gay Talese is the father of American New Journalism, who transformed traditional reportage with his vivid scene-setting, sharp observation and rich storytelling. His 1966 piece for Esquire , one of the most celebrated magazine articles ever published, describes a morose Frank Sinatra silently nursing a glass of bourbon, struck down with a cold and... more...

  • Less Than Oneby Joseph Brodsky

    Penguin Books Ltd 2011; US$ 23.98

    Essayist and poet Joseph Brodsky was one of the most penetrating voices of the twentieth century. This prize-winning collection of his diverse essays includes uniquely powerful appreciations of great writers: on Dostoevsky and the development of Russian prose, on Auden and Akhmatova, Cavafy, Montale and Mandelstam. These are contrasted with his reflections... more...