Just as the French cannot think of Flaubert's experiments in psychological realism without first thinking of Rousseau's beautiful Confessions, the English cannot imagine the works of Jane Austen without Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women.
Related Articles 20 August John Preston reviews Be Near Me by Andrew O'Hagan 24 May The essay is a graduation of the speaking voice - the discursive mode, par excellence - and the best English essayists have, over the past years, built a version of the form that is spectacular, humane, stylish and vernacular.
But the sudden and immense popularity of the Tatler and Spectator in the Queen Anne time brought into prominence another type of the essay. Is it their nature, or are they puppets of imperial forces with agendas of their own?
Writing tips from the essay: A perfect novel? White — Once more to the lake What does it mean to be a father? Let your personality shine through the written piece.
Be the one who spells it out for them. Contrast the numinous with the mundane to enthrall the reader. Writing tips from the essay: You can paint a picture of your former self.