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Essays

Most popular at the top

  • An Apology for Idlersby Robert Louis Stevenson

    Penguin Books Ltd 2009; US$ 5.63

    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...

  • 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... more...

  • The Harz Journey and Selected Proseby Heinrich Heine; Ritchie Robertson; Ritchie Robertson

    Penguin Books Ltd 2006; US$ 14.65

    A poet whose verse inspired music by Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Brahms, Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) was in his lifetime equally admired for his elegant prose. This collection charts the development of that prose, beginning with three meditative works from the Travel Pictures, inspired by Heine's journeys as a young man to Lucca, Venice and... more...

  • On Solitudeby Michel de Montaigne

    Penguin Books Ltd 2009; US$ 5.63

    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...

  • Frank Sinatra Has a Coldby Gay Talese

    Penguin Books Ltd 2011; US$ 11.27

    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$ 16.91

    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$ 7.04

    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...

  • Less Than Oneby Joseph Brodsky

    Penguin Books Ltd 2011; US$ 16.91

    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...

  • On Grief And Reasonby Joseph Brodsky

    Penguin Books Ltd 2011; US$ 16.91

    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...

  • The Last Expeditionby R. F. Scott; Ranulph Fiennes

    Random House 2012; US$ 6.99

    WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY SIR RANULPH FIENNES The Last Expedition is Captain Scott's gripping account of his expedition to the South Pole in 1910-12. It was meant to be a voyage of scientific discovery and a heroic exploration of the last unconquered wilderness. Scott's expedition, carried in the Terra Nova , pitted him and his team not only against... more...