Thoreau, Henry David
ivil Disobedience (Resistance to Civil Government) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War.
This is Mark Twain's vicious and amusing review of Fenimore Cooper's literary art. It is still read
widely in academic circles. Twain's essay, Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses (often spelled "Offences") (1895), particularly criticized The Deerslayer and The Pathfinder. Twain wrote at the beginning of the essay: 'In one place in Deerslayer, and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record.' Twain listed 19 rules 'governing literary art in domain of romantic fiction', 18 of which Cooper violates in The Deerslayer.
Chesterton, G. K.
The Author Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England on the 29th of May, 1874. Though he considered himself a mere "rollicking journalist," he was actually a prolific and gifted writer in virtually every area of literature. A man of strong opinions and enormously talented at defending them, his exuberant personality nevertheless allowed him to maintain warm friendships with people--such as George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells--with whom he vehemently disagreed. Chesterton had no difficulty standing up for what he believed. He was one of the few journalists to oppose the Boer War. His 1922 "Eugenics and Other Evils" attacked what was at that time the most progressive of all ideas, the idea that the human race could and should breed a superior version of itself. In the Nazi experience, history demonstrated the wisdom of his once "reactionary" views.
Chesterton wrote several works of Christian apologetics, the best known of which are "Othodoxy", "Heretics", and "The Everlasting Man".
Chesterton, G. K.
“None of us think enough of these things on which the eye rests. But don't let us let the eye rest. Why should the eye be so lazy? Let us exercise the eye until it learns to see startling facts that run across the landscape as plain as a painted fence. Let us be ocular athletes. Let us learn to write essays on a stray cat or a coloured cloud. I have attempted some such thing in what follows; but anyone else may do it better, if anyone else will only try. ” (Gilbert Keith Chesterton)
Thoreau, Henry David
This was originally a lecture given by Thoreau in 1851 at the Concord lyceum titled "The Wild" . He revised it before his death and it was included as part of the June 1862 edition of Atlantic Monthly. This essay appears, on the surface, to be simply expounding the qualities of Nature and man's place therein. Through this medium he not only touches those subjects, but with the implications of such a respect for nature, or lack thereof.
Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Russia, Goldman emigrated to the US in 1885 and lived in New York City, where she became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women's rights, and social issues, attracting crowds of thousands. Goldman was imprisoned several times for "inciting to riot" and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth. In 1910, she collected a series of speeches and items she had written for Mother Earth and published Anarchism and Other Essays. In addition to a comprehensive look at anarchism and its criticisms, the book includes essays on patriotism, women's suffrage, marriage, and prisons. (summary extracted from wikipedia)
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
“We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul”.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Essays: First Series is a series of 12 essays written by Ralph Waldo Emerson concerning transcendentalism, including Self-Reliance. It was published in 1841.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) was an American essayist, philosopher, and poet, best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid 19th century. His teachings directly influenced the growing New Thought movement of the mid 1800s.
Chesterton, G. K.
A collection of reprinted articles on a wide-range of subject, all in the unique style of G. K. Chesterton. Using wit, paradox, and good humor he “defends” a series of seeming harmless things that need no defense, and in so doing he exposes many of the broken assumptions and dogmatic notions of secular humanism and other trends of his age and of ours.
An Essay on Criticism was the first major poem written by the English writer Alexander Pope (1688-1744). However, despite the title, the poem is not as much an original analysis as it is a compilation of Pope's various literary opinions. A reading of the poem makes it clear that he is addressing not so much the ingenuous reader as the intending writer. It is written in a type of rhyming verse called heroic couplets.
This speech was given March 23, 1775, at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, and is credited with having singlehandedly convinced the Virginia House of Burgesses to pass a resolution delivering the Virginia troops to the Revolutionary War. In attendance were Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Reportedly, the crowd, upon hearing the speech, jumped up and shouted, “To Arms! To Arms!”
It was a cloudy November day in 1863 when thousands gathered to hear renowned orator Edward Everett dedicate a national cemetary at the site of a pivotal battle early in July of that year. Also present to deliver "a few appropriate remarks" was the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln spoke but 278 words; Everett later wrote to the President, "I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes." Though there are surviving transcripts of Everett's lengthly speech, it is Lincoln's words which have come to be known as "The Gettysburg Address"
The Gettysburg Address is the most famous speech of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and one of the most quoted speeches in United States history. It was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863, during the American Civil War, four and a half months after the Battle of Gettysburg.
The Gettysburg Address is the most famous speech of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and one of the most quoted speeches in United States history. It was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, during the American Civil War, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated the Confederates at the decisive Battle of Gettysburg.
The Dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, in November, 1863, followed a few short months after the roiling, acrid clouds of gun smoke dissipated, leaving a little crossroads town in Pennsylvania heir to the human tragedy of over 7,000 corpses and 21,000 men suffering wounds. It was a most unnatural disaster.
On November 19, the chief executive made the trip to the still-dazed, shot-torn community to deliver, almost as an afterthought (for he was not the keynote speaker), an address that clarified his belief that the Negro race should be liberated from their slavery, and that despite the loss of so much blood and life, the Union should hold to the goal of completing this emancipation.
That he knew the eyes of the nation would rest of him was evident; this address was the first speech since his inauguration that he prepared in advance. But these carefully crafted words - only 269 of them - became a vital part of our nation's identity, and are a signature to the bedrock of our beliefs.
Chesterton, G. K.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an influential English writer of the early 20th century. His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy, and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the "prince of paradox." He wrote in an off-hand, whimsical prose studded with startling formulations. Chesterton wrote about 4000 essays on various subjects, and "Ararms and Discursions is one of his collections.
The Brothers Orville (1871 - 1948) and Wilbur (1867 – 1912) Wright made the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, on 17th December 1903. They were not the first to build and fly aircraft, but they invented the controls that were necessary for a pilot to steer the aircraft, which made fixed wing powered flight possible. The Early History of the Airplane consists of three short essays about the beginnings of human flight. The second essay retells the first flight: "This flight lasted only 12 seconds, but it was nevertheless the first in the history of the world in which a machine carrying a man had raised itself by its own power into the air in full flight, had sailed forward without reduction of speed and had finally landed at a point as high as that from which it started."
Mark Twain pulls no punches while exposing the "real" Percy Shelley in this scathing condemnation of Edward Dowden's "Life of Shelley". Even though, as Twain writes, "Shelley's life has the one indelible blot upon it, but is otherwise worshipfully noble and beautiful", Twain shows how Shelley's extra-marital conduct might easily be seen to have been the cause of his wife Harriet's suicide.
“When a man weighs anchor in a little ship or a large one he does a jolly thing! He cuts himself off and he starts for freedom and for the chance of things. He pulls the jib a-weather, he leans to her slowly pulling round, he sees the wind getting into the mainsail, and he feels that she feels the helm. He has her on a slant of the wind, and he makes out between the harbour piers.” (quotation from Hilaire Belloc)
Collection of short essays concerning French novelist and critic Paul Bourget. Included: "What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us" and "A Little Note to M. Paul Bourget".
Williams, Henry L.
The Abraham Lincoln Statue at Chicago is accepted as the typical Westerner of the forum, the rostrum, and the tribune, as he stood to be inaugurated under the war-cloud in 1861. But there is another Lincoln as dear to the common people--the Lincoln of happy quotations, the speaker of household words. Instead of the erect, impressive, penetrative platform orator we see a long, gaunt figure, divided between two chairs for comfort, the head bent forward, smiling broadly, the lips curved in laughter, the deep eyes irradiating their caves of wisdom; the story-telling Lincoln, enjoying the enjoyment he gave to others.
This is a series of late-19th Century essays about Florida's flora and fauna written by a Massachusetts-based naturalist.
Written for the Atlantic magazine in 1877, this is a collection of stories about a trip Mark Twain made with some friends to Bermuda.
American novelist Edith Wharton was living in Paris when World War I broke out in 1914. She obtained permission to visit sites behind the lines, including hospitals, ravaged villages, and trenches. Fighting France records her travels along the front in 1914 and 1915, and celebrates the indomitable spirit of the French people.
van Dyke, Henry
A short Christmas book by American author, educator, and clergyman Henry Van Dyke, including a short story, two essays, and two prayers for the season.
"In the course of time a very considerable public feeling was aroused in the United States and Canada over this state of affairs. The lack of reciprocity in it seemed unfair. It was felt (or at least I felt) that the time had come when some one ought to go over and take some impressions off England. The choice of such a person (my choice) fell upon myself. By an arrangement with the Geographical Society of America, acting in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society of England (to both of whom I communicated my proposal), I went at my own expense."
And from thence follow the impressions of Canadian political economist and humourist, Stephen Leacock, after a lecturing visit to England.
A collection of sometimes biting, always clever commentaries on some of life's foibles -- as apt today as when Ms. Repplier wrote them in 1912. Though less know to modern readers, Repplier was in her prime ranked among the likes of Willa Cather. Note: Section 13 contains the word niggards. I put it in print here so that it will not be mistaken for a racial epithet when heard. (written by Mary Schneider)
Jerome, Jerome K.
A comic look at the curious habits and customs of the inhabitants of 'Stage Land'. Dedicated to 'that highly respectable but unnecessarily retiring individual, of whom we hear so much but see so little, "the earnest student of drama"
Henry David Thoreau
Civil Disobedience is an essay by Henry David Thoreau. Published in 1849 under the title Resistance to Civil Government, it expressed Thoreau’s belief that people should not allow governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that people have a duty both to avoid doing injustice directly and to avoid allowing their acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican-American War.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett
Thoroughly appalled and sickened by the rising numbers of white-on-black murders in the South since the beginning of Reconstruction, and by the unwillingness of local, state and federal governments to prosecute those who were responsible, Ida Bell Wells-Barnett wrote Southern Horrors, a pamphlet in which she exposed the horrible reality of lynchings to the rest of the nation and to the world. Wells explained, through case study, how the federal government's failure to intervene allowed Southern states the latitude to slowly but effectively disenfranchise blacks from participating as free men and women in a post-Civil War America with the rights and opportunities guaranteed to all Americans by the Constitution.
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936) has been called the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction.
The title of Chesteron’s 1910 collection of essays was inspired by a title given to him two years earlier by The Times newspaper, which had asked a number of authors to write on the topic: “What’s wrong with the world?”. Chesterton’s answer at that time was the shortest of those submitted - he simply wrote: “Dear Sirs, I am. Sincerely yours, G.K. Chesterton”. In this collection he gives a fuller treatment of the question, with his characteristic conservative wit.
Schopenhauer is considered to be one of the most influential philosophers of all times. Many of his ideas and quotes have been quoted largely and have now become almost commonplace. The essays in this collection are a proof of his breakthrough contributions to Reason, Logic, Progress and Linguistics.
'Pragmatism' contains a series of public lectures held by William James in Boston 1906–7. James provides a popularizing outline of his view of philosophical pragmatism while making highly rhetorical and entertaining lashes towards rationalism and other competing schools of thought. James is especially concerned with the pragmatic view of truth. True beliefs should be defined as, according to James, beliefs that can successfully assist people in their everyday life. This is claimed to not be relativism. That reality exists is argued to be a fact true beyond the human subject. James argues, nevertheless, that people select which parts of reality are made relevant and how they are understood to relate to each other. Charles Sanders Peirce, widely considered to be the founder of pragmatism, eventually chose to separate himself intellectually from James, renaming his own theory to ‘pragmaticism’.
Thirty three essays by more or less well-known authors of Britain, the United States, and Canada, each fronted by an introductory paragraph. Early twentieth or late nineteenth centuries. “I think I can offer you, in this parliament of philomaths [lover of learning], entertainment of the most genuine sort;…as brilliant and sincere work is being done to-day in the essay as in any period of our literature. Accordingly the pieces reprinted here are very diverse. There is the grand manner; there is foolery; there is straightforward literary criticism; there is pathos, politics, and the picturesque. But every selection is, in its own way, a work of art. And I would call the reader's attention to this: that the greater number of these essays were written not by retired æsthetes, but by practising journalists in the harness of the daily or weekly press.” The listener is alerted to the fact that some of the essays have been edited from the original, some lightly, others quite heavily. Published in 1921.( Author's Preface and david wales)
"What Is Man?", published by Mark Twain in 1906, is a dialogue between a young man and an older man jaded to the world. It involves ideas of destiny and free will, as well as of psychological egoism. The Old Man asserted that the human being is merely a machine, and nothing more. The Young Man objects, and asks him to go into particulars and furnish his reasons for his position. This collection of short stories covers a wide range of Twain's interests: the serious, the political and the ironically humorous.
Spanning the time between 1872 and the year before he died, this collection of after-dinner speeches, random thoughts to "the press", etc. clearly documents, once again, the truly eclectic mind of Samuel Clemens. It also demonstrates how he dealt with adulation, compliments and notoriety...head on! This collection is a treasure-trove of Twain sayings, witticisms and pronouncements on a huge galaxy of issues and concerns in his life.
Sir Walter Scott
A series of letters written by Scott on the history of witchcraft and other supernatural events in England and other locations. He documents stories and discredits them with natural causes.
The noblest and most extensive defense of freedom of the press in English. Although Milton was sufficiently practical to serve as a censor of books himself when his opposition to this practice was ignored by the government, he never lost his conviction that the best way to battle falsehood was to let it have its say and be defeated by the superior power of truth. Strangling infants in the cradle was simply not his style. In this long essay, in the form of a five-part Classical oration addressed to Parliament (the counterpart of the Areopagus or council of elders in ancient Athens), he brings to bear on this subject a wide variety of arguments, including antique precedents, philosophical and religious considerations, and his own experience as a published author. The document presents the portrait of the idealistic core of the British republic struggling against the political expediency that upholds the government.
Henry David Thoreau
This was originally titled "The Wild" and is a lecture given by Thoreau in 1851 at the Concord lyceum. "Walking" is an essay that explores the relationship between man and nature, trying to find a balance between society and our raw animal nature.
Emma Goldman, the most famous anarchist in American history, shows the whole range of her iconoclastic thought in this collection of essays. Drawing from a wealth of illustrative material, including the examples of fellow anarchists and radicals of her own acquaintance, modern martyrs, dissident playwrights, poets, and authors, etc., she delineates the main themes of her philosophy with incisiveness and evangelical passion. Included among these themes are: a definition of decentralized anarchism itself; the ambiguous morality of direct action; the curse of modern patriotism; the horrors of early twentieth-century prisons; the need for an entirely new kind of education; the relationship of legal marriage to true love; the insidious danger of Puritanical thought within feminism itself; the deadly spread of sex trafficking; the limitations or even undesirability of woman suffrage; and the extraordinary revolutionary potential of modern theatre. Sadly, none of these themes seem obsolete even to a modern reader; every one of them has direct application to twenty-first century society.
Chesterton, G. K.
Most Eugenists are Euphemists. I mean merely that short words startle them, while long words soothe them. And they are utterly incapable of translating the one into the other, however obviously they mean the same thing. Say to them "The persuasive and even coercive powers of the citizen should enable him to make sure that the burden of longevity in the previous generation does not become disproportionate and intolerable, especially to the females"; say this to them and they will sway slightly to and fro like babies sent to sleep in cradles. Say to them "Murder your mother," and they sit up quite suddenly. Yet the two sentences, in cold logic, are exactly the same."
A collection of essays by Virginia Woolf, some of which originally appeared in the Times Literary Supplement or the Dial, and others were originally published for the first time in this volume.
"Anything that Virginia Woolf may have to say about letters is of more than ordinary interest, for her peculiar intelligence and informed attitude set her somewhat apart. She possesses the happy faculty simultaneously of enjoying and accepting the work of Daniel De Foe and James Joyce, of Joseph Addison and T.S. Eliot, of Jane Austen and Marcel Proust. Many of these essays are excellent examples of that type of writing which reveals the reactions, nuances, twisting and adventuring threads of thought and surmise which spring from the perusal and spiritual acquisition of other work."
Excerpts from the New York Times Book Review of The Common Reader, May 31, 1925
In his inimitable way, Mark Twain gives sound advice about how to tell a story, then lets us in on some curious incidents he experienced, and finishes with a trip that proves life-changing.
Chesterton, G. K.
“Let me begin my American impressions with two impressions I had before I went to America. One was an incident and the other an idea; and when taken together they illustrate the attitude I mean. The first principle is that nobody should be ashamed of thinking a thing funny because it is foreign; the second is that he should be ashamed of thinking it wrong because it is funny.” (Gilbert Keith Chesterton)
Thomas de Quincey
The Hunter Thompson of the 19th Century, de Quincey is best known for his Confessions of an English Opium Eater (an activity shared with his hero, Samuel Coleridge, much to Wordsworth’s dismay). However, de Quincey’s literary genius is best captured in his essays, which, according to Wikipedia: His immediate influence extended to Edgar Allan Poe, Fitz Hugh Ludlow and Charles Baudelaire, but even major 20th century writers such as Jorge Luis Borges admired and claimed to be partly influenced by his work. (written by TTM)
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions is a 1624 prose work by the English theologian and writer John Donne, Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It is a series of reflections that were written as Donne recovered from a serious illness. The work consists of twenty-three parts ('devotions') describing each stage of the sickness. Each part is further divided into a Meditation, an Expostulation (or objection) , and a Prayer. The work is an excellent example of seventeenth century English spirituality and sometimes feels a bit dated. Yet much solid nourishment can be found. “Death’s Duel” is Donne’s last sermon prepared for presentation before the King during Lent; it is commonly seen as Donne’s own funeral oration. The biographical material is from Izaak Walton’s Lives. The most famous part of the Devotions is number XVII (17), containing these lines: No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Friendship. Old Age. Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, orator, lawyer, and philosopher. He is considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists. One commentator has written, “The influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language.”
This book contains a critical essay on Shakespeare by Leo Tolstoy. It is followed by another essay named "Shakespeare's attitude to the working classes" by Ernest Crosby and extracts of a letter by George Bernard Shaw.
This is a collection of essays, edited by Booker T. Washington, representative of what historians have characterized as "racial uplift ideology." These and other similar narratives of the time were a reaction to the gradual erosion of the African-American's civil rights across the United States that began during Reconstruction.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.