From self-expression and personal discoveries to revelations and diatribes, essays have been thought-provoking, educating, informing and even entertaining us for more than four hundred years. And the diversity of the subjects this art has covered is boundless—loving, hating, self-reliance, prudence, witches, liars and even poetry and writing.
The literary canon abounds with innumerable essays. Out of this, we bring to you fifty carefully chosen, remarkable and insightful masterpieces to rekindle your appreciation of this art form, such as The Death of the Moth by Virginia Woolf, Of Liars by Michel de Montaigne, Of Love by Francis Bacon, Silly Novels by Lady Novelists by George Eliot, Friendship by Joseph Addison and many more.
“An essay is a thing which someone
does himself; and the point of the essay
is not the subject, . . . but the charm of personality.”
– Arthur Benson, The Art of the Essayist
“All writers are vain, selfish and lazy and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a
long bout of some painful illness.”
– George Orwell, Why I Write
“The struggle was over. The insignificant little creature now knew death. As I looked at the dead moth, this minute wayside triumph of so great a force over so mean an antagonist filled me with wonder.”
– Virginia Woolf, The Death of the Moth