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Essays

Most popular at the top

  • Paper Trailby Richard Howard

    Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2005; US$ 8.99

    Richard Howard has been writing stylish, deeply informed commentary on modern culture and literature for more than four decades. Here is a selection of his finest essays, including some never before published in book form, on a splendid range of subjects--from American poets like Emily Dickinson and Marianne Moore to French artists such as Rodin and... more...

  • Urne-Burialby Thomas Browne

    Penguin Books Ltd 2005; US$ 6.38

    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...

  • 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...