Great 20th century essayists

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Famous American Writers

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Famous Essayists from Colonial Times till the 20th Century

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Overall I quite enjoyed this compact book. I mean, sure, some of the essays were a bit tiresome as they were written more than 50 years ago about subjects such as how and when it is most effective to cut hay.


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But hey, others were funny, engaging and even still relevant such as E. Forster ' Does Culture Matter?

20th Century - English Literature - Research Guides at Southern Connecticut State University

I always found rewarding that History of Ideas' perspective which attempts to decipher what was it that bothered people at a specific era, what caused their tossing and turning at n Overall I quite enjoyed this compact book. I always found rewarding that History of Ideas' perspective which attempts to decipher what was it that bothered people at a specific era, what caused their tossing and turning at night, what were the things they found significant in their lives.

Two examples are Sir Max Beerbohm's nervousness in the essay Speed : We are constantly told by the press that we must be "traffic-conscious.


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How could we be otherwise? How not be concussion-apprehensive, annihilation-evasive, and similar compound words? When the children of this generation, brought up in fear, shall become adult, what sort of nervous ailments will their progeny have, one wonders? Many of the present children won't grow up at all. Very ole people and very young people form the majority of those who are annually slaughtered upon the roads. Fruit-sellers, potters, silversmiths, blacksmiths, butchers, leatherworkers, tailors, water-carriers, beggars, porters - whichever way you look you see nothing but Jews.

As a matter of fact there are thirteen thousand of them, all living in a space of a few acres. A good job Hitler wasn't here.

Contemporary American Essayists

Perhaps he was on his way, however, You hear the usual dark rumours about the Jews, not only from the Arabs but from the poorer Europeans. The Jews! William Lowry, the Northern Ireland Minister of Home Affairs, was no doubt there, but as a member of the family rather than as a representative of the government.

Perhaps, at least from the point of view of the Ulster unionists, official indifference to the funeral of Robert Lynd was both understandable and justified. The year was not by any means one of the best years for North—South relations in Ireland. Westminster had responded with the Ireland Act, which guaranteed that Northern Ireland would not cease to be part of the United Kingdom without the consent of the Northern Ireland parliament.

Those two enactments were followed within Northern Ireland by a general election: yet another violent and unruly confrontation of unionists and nationalists. As the remains of Robert Lynd were being laid to rest in Belfast City Cemetery Ulster unionists were once again asserting their determination, and their right, to remain citizens of the United Kingdom and declaring that Northern Ireland would never be taken over by the Republic of Ireland.

How in such circumstances could the government of Northern Ireland have been officially represented at the funeral of a man who, besides being an eminent man of letters, had from his student days never been anything but an enemy politically of Ulster unionism and a scourge of Orangeism in Ireland? His father, the Revd R. Lynd, had spoken as a fervent unionist at the Henry Cook centenary in Cook had been the Ian Paisley of his day.

He joined the Gaelic League and learned to speak Irish.

What Essays Are, and What Essayists Do

He had the courage to stand by his friend Sir Roger Casement when he was tried for treason in and hanged in Pentonville Jail. Robert Lynd remained an Irish nationalist all his life, never missing an opportunity to denounce what he believed to be the hypocrisy of British politicians in their dealings with Ireland. In one of his earlier essays he wrote:. It was as an essayist that Robert Lynd achieved international fame. But he also wrote about politics and put the case for Irish nationalism in Ireland a nation Labour historians may regret that Lynd did not name that small socialist society in Belfast and so give them the opportunity to know exactly what it was.

It could have been the Belfast branch of the Independent Labour Party. He was glad to accept shelter in the studio of his friend Paul Henry, the Belfast-born artist and a radical like Lynd himself. When he first arrived in London Lynd earned some money writing for the Daily Despatch, and also for Today, the weekly magazine edited by Jerome K.


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Jerome, author of the celebrated Three men in a boat. In he got his first permanent job, as literary editor of the Daily News, which, he must have been pleased to remember, had once been edited by Charles Dickens.

Elizabeth Bowen

The Daily News later became the News Chronicle. In those times, before there was either radio or television to provide the light entertainment that is so popular today, the literary essay was probably more appreciated by the readers of newspapers and magazines than it would be nowadays. Robert Lynd became one of the most widely read of the essayists. Some years ago the Belfast Telegraph noted with some little pride that one collection, The Blue Lion and other essays, had been published in Japan, with an introduction in Japanese, for inclusion in the English courses of Japanese universities.

If Lynd had been alive then he might have written an essay with a title such as On being published in Japan, or something like that.