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.
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.
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 (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)
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.
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.
Jerome, Jerome K.
Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, published in 1886, is a collection of humorous essays by Jerome K. Jerome. It was the author’s second published book and helped establish him as a leading English humorist. The book consists of 14 independent articles arranged by themes.
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.
Jack London credited his skill of story-telling to the days he spent as a hobo learning to fabricate tales to get meals from sympathetic strangers. In The Road, he relates the tales and memories of his days on the hobo road, including how the hobos would elude train crews and his travels with Kelly’s Army.
The title, An Essay on Criticism hardly indicates all that is included in the poem. It would have been impossible to give a full and exact idea of the art of poetical criticism without entering into the consideration of the art of poetry. Accordingly Pope has interwoven the precepts of both throughout the poem which might more properly have been styled an essay on the Art of Criticism and of Poetry.
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.
Alice Dunbar Nelson
It seems eminently fitting and proper in this year, the fiftieth anniversary of the Proclamation of Emancipation that the Negro should give pause and look around him at the things which he has done, those which he might have done, and those which he intends to do. We pause, just at the beginning of another half century, taking stock of past achievements, present conditions, future possibilities. (Preface)
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."
Aubertine Woodward Moore
A series of essays for music lovers, covering many topics. From music appreciation, to violin and symphony, music education, to piano and, in fact, the very origins of music, there is sure to be something for everyone.
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.
“A COLLECTION OF absolutely authentic accounts by privates and non-commissioned officers.... We see a great simplicity and directness of observation and recital, so admirable that one page of such writing is worth all the folios of the war experts and correspondents, not to say romancers and publicists.” The Athenæum.
“THE HUMAN SIDE, the naked horror and simple glory of actual conflict, is what Mr. Wood’s soldiers are concerned with, and the stories they tell give a clearer picture of this side of war than can be found in any other form.” Pall Mall Gazette.
“A VERY REAL and deeply affecting book, and the editor has done a valuable work in collecting these poignant, odd, whimsical, terrible stories together.” Westminster Gazette.
“NO MAN WHO boasts a heart, least of all any man of young limbs, will read these soldiers’ simple stories without a quickening of the pulse. They are at once a great stimulus and a great memorial.” Daily Telegraph.
“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)
Chesterton, G. K.
Another delightful and sharply pointed excursion into the topics of the day, and of our day as well, with Gilbert Keith Chesterton. Here he uses his wit and mastery of paradox to bring into focus a number of historical persons who in many ways typify the people who presently shape our world and who in their own right have already shaped Western civilization. These reprinted magazine articles are filled with his good natured wit and devastating ability to use reductio ad absurdum to destroy the popular myths that drive our society at full-speed into, and expose the utter nonsense that underlies, secular humanism. You will come away with yet another new collection of wonderful quotes.
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.
"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.
Jacob A. Riis
These stories have come to me from many sources—some from my own experience, others from settlement workers, still others from the records of organized charity, that are never dry, as some think, but alive with vital human interest and with the faithful striving to help the brother so that it counts. They have this in common, that they are true. For good reasons, names and places are changed, but they all happened as told here. I could not have invented them had I tried; I should not have tried if I could. For it is as pictures from the life in which they and we, you and I, are partners, that I wish them to make their appeal to the neighbor who lives but around the corner and does not know it.
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.
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"
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.
James Freeman Clarke
Three diverse essays on souls in animals, a comparison of Buddhism and Christianity, and individualism in religion. Born in Hanover, New Hampshire, James Freeman Clarke attended the Boston Latin School, graduated from Harvard College in 1829, and Harvard Divinity School in 1833. Ordained into the Unitarian church he… soon threw himself into the national movement for the abolition of slavery. In 1839 he returned to Boston where he and his friends established (1841) the Church of the Disciples which brought together a body of people to apply the Christian religion to social problems of the day…. Many of Clarke's earlier published writings were addressed to the immediate need of establishing a larger theory of religion than that espoused by people who were still under the influence of Calvinism…. Clarke was an advocate of human rights…. Tempered and moderate in his views of life, he was a reformer and a conciliator.... James Freeman Clarke was one of the very first Americans to explore and write about Eastern religions. These three essays are taken from his book Nineteenth Century Questions (1897). (Wikipedia and david wales)
Henry Cabot Lodge
A biographical encomium delivered on the occasion of Roosevelt's death. Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt, Jr. (1858 – 1919) was an American author, naturalist, explorer, historian, and politician who served as the 26th President of the United States. He was a leader of the Republican Party (the "GOP") and founder of the Progressive Party. He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity. Henry Cabot Lodge (1850 – 1924) was an American Republican Senator and historian from Massachusetts. He was also a friend and confidant of Theodore Roosevelt. He had the role (but not the official title) of the first Senate Majority Leader.
Louise Imogen Guiney
Louise Imogen Guiney, and American poet and essayist, here presents twenty essays with her characteristic wit and poetic flair and often a touch of satire on sometimes common topics such as the apple, the moon, mathematics and the garret, even the provocative "On Teaching One's Grandmother how to Suck Eggs."
George William Curtis
George William Curtis was a writer and public speaker. He was editor of Harper's Weekly and one of the founders of the American Republican party, and served Ulysses S. Grant; although he split from the party in the 1880s over the choice of presidential candidate. He was an original member of the New York Board of Education. This anthology of essays is the first of a three volume work, showing his broad knowledge and interest.
George William Curtis
The second volume of essays and observations From the Easy Chair of William Curtis, editor of Harper's Weekly and one of the founders of the American Republican party, and served Ulysses S. Grant; although he split from the party in the 1880s over the choice of presidential candidate. He was an original member of the New York Board of Education.
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.
David Starr Jordan
The words in this essay on positive thought sing like those in Whitman's "Leaves of Grass." The author praises joyous living and recommends certain routes to its attainment. He explores schooling (public secondary and the university), travel, and the study of nature as ways to stay buoyant during life's trials. He also praises the power of the arts (literature, music, painting, sculpture) to keep spirits soaring.
Jerome K. Jerome
Back in 1905 Jerome K. Jerome shared his thoughts on a variety of subjects, including "Should Women Be Beautiful?", "Should Soldiers Be Polite?" and "Is The American Husband Made Entirely Of Stained Glass?". Each subject is analysed and commented on in the witty and satirical style we've grown to expect from the author.
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)
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.
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.
In American Notes, Rudyard Kipling, the Nobel Prize-winning author of the Jungle Book, visits the USA. As the travel-diary of an Anglo-Indian Imperialist visiting the USA, these American Notes offer an interesting view of America in the 1880s.
Kipling affects a wide-eyed innocence, and expresses astonishment at features of American life that differ from his own, not least the freedom (and attraction) of American women. However, he scorns the political machines that made a mockery of American democracy, and while exhibiting the racist attitudes that made him controversial in the 20th century concludes “It is not good to be a negro in the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
G. A. England of Harvard University (letter to The New York Times 10/11/1902) wrote: “To the American temperament, the gentleman who throws stones while himself living in a glass house cannot fail to be amusing; the more so if, as in Mr Kipling’s case, he appears to be in a state of maiden innocence regarding the structure of his own domicile.”