And even those who declare themselves to be in favour of freedom of opinion generally drop their claim when it is their own adversaries who are being prosecuted.
Max Beerbohm (1872-1956) is not as well known nowadays as some other major English essayists like Lamb, Hazlitt, Johnson and Orwell, but it is quite significant that George Bernard Shaw called him ‘the incomparable Max’ and Virginia Woolf, like several other contemporaries, also thought very highly of him. What strikes me as brilliant in this... Continue Reading →
It is somewhat telling of William Hazlitt (1778-1830) that he had the audacity and courage to write and publish an essay called ‘The Pleasure of Hating’—often described as a ‘classic of spleen’. Hazlitt is an arch-romantic in both inspiration and execution. His ideas, for example, inspired Keats and his notion of ‘negative sensibility’. He is... Continue Reading →
This blog will feature short appreciations of some of the best essays ever written as well as of some that are less well known. We will be looking at texts that go back centuries, even millennia, as well as texts that have just been written. What we will discover, over and over again, is how relevant... Continue Reading →