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Essays

Most popular at the top

  • Small Wonderby Barbara Kingsolver

    Faber & Faber 2011; US$ 14.57

    In this collection of essays, the author of High Tide in Tucson brings to us (out of one of history's darker moments) an extended love song to the world we still have. From its opening parable gleaned from recent news about a lost child saved in an astonishing way, the book moves on to consider a world of surprising and hopeful prospects ranging from... more...

  • On Powerby William Shakespeare

    Penguin Books Ltd 2009; US$ 7.98

    These are Shakespeare's greatest writings on power in all its forms - in love, in war, in politics and in the family. From Macbeth's vaulting ambition to Richard II's fragile grip on authority, from the violent rivalries of King Lear to the exquisite poetry of the love sonnets, these pieces show, with philosophical subtlety and psychological acuity,... more...

  • On Solitudeby Michel de Montaigne

    Penguin Books Ltd 2009; US$ 7.98

    Blending intellectual speculation with anecdote and personal reflection, the Renaissance thinker and writer Montaigne pioneered the modern essay. This selection contains his idiosyncratic and timeless writings on subjects as varied as the virtues of solitude, the power of the imagination, the pleasures of reading, the importance of sleep and why we... 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...

  • How to Achieve True Greatnessby Baldesar Castiglione

    Penguin Books Ltd 2005; US$ 7.98

    Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals... 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...