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)