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Essays

Most popular at the top

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • On Grief And Reasonby Joseph Brodsky

    Penguin Books Ltd 2011; US$ 23.98

    In this richly diverse collection of essays, Joseph Brodsky casts a reflective eye on his experiences of early life in Russia and exile in America. With dazzling erudition, he explores subjects as varied as the dynamic of poetry, the nature of history and the plight of the émigré writer. There is also the humorous tale of a disastrous trip to Brazil,... 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...

  • The Revolt of the Pendulumby Clive James

    Pan Macmillan 2011; US$ 9.09

    The further thoughts of Clive James. more...

  • Freedom of the Poetby John Berryman

    Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1976; US$ 8.99

    Less than a year before his death in 1972, John Berryman signed a contract with his publisher for a book of prose, The Freedom of the Poet , for which he had made a selection from his published and unpublished writings.  In his draft of a prefatory note, he acknowledged the influence of Eliot, Blackmur, Pound, and Empson on his critical thought,... more...

  • When I Was A Child I Read Booksby Marilynne Robinson

    Little, Brown Book Group 2012; US$ 16.77

    Of Marilynne Robinson, Michael Arditti said that there is 'no contemporary novelist whose work I would rather read'. However she is not only a writer of sharp, subtly moving prose, but also a rigorous thinker and incisive essayist. In this luminous new collection she returns to the themes which have preoccupied her bestselling novels: the place literature... more...