The Familiar Essay Overview Of The Genre

Overview Of The Genre

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

Arthur C. Benson

SOURCE: "On Essays at Large," in The Living Age, Vol. XLVI, No. 3423, February 12, 1910, pp. 408-15.

[Benson was an English educator and author. A prolific poet, novelist, and biographer, he is best known as an essayist. In the following excerpt from an essay originally published in the Cormhill Magazine, Benson approaches a definition of the essay and touches upon the accomplishment of several key writers of the familiar essay, including Lamb, Thackeray, and Stevenson.]

There is no word which it seems harder to define than the word Essay; it seems as difficult to describe as the quality of justice in Plato's...

(The entire section is 13986 words.)