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Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and…

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These ten letters, written by one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, offer deep and sincere advice to the young poet. They touch on all aspects of life and are valuable to anyone wishing to be a poet and to those who are not. Written with power,…

Symposium

by Plato

|January 20, 1994

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In his celebrated masterpiece, Symposium, Plato imagines a high-society dinner-party in Athens in 416 BC at which the guests include the comic poet Aristophanes and, of course, Plato's mentor Socrates. The power, humour, and pathos of Plato's creation engages the…

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Beginning with a dilemma about whether he spends more money on reading or smoking, George Orwell's entertaining and uncompromising essays go on to explore everything from the perils of second-hand bookshops to the dubious profession of being a critic, from…

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Thoreau has inspired generations of readers to think for themselves and to find meaning and beauty in nature. This sampling includes five of his most frequently read and cited essays: "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" (1849), "Life without Principle" (1863),…

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These poetic, inspiring essays offer remarkable insights into the world of a gifted woman who was deaf and blind. Helen Keller relates her impressions of the world's beauty and promise, perceived through the sensations of touch, smell, and vibration, together…

De Profundis

by Oscar Wilde

|September 26, 2011

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Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish writer and poet who distinguished himself as a leader of London's school of Aesthetics in the late nineteenth century. He became famous for his long hair, flamboyant dress, green carnations and colorful, biting wit. His…

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From the bestselling Letters to Penthouse series comes another spicy collection of letters written to one of the most popular men's magazines.

Maeve's Times

by Maeve Binchy

|September 12, 2013

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Discover what inspired Maeve Binchy's novels and short stories in this hugely enjoyable collection of her writing from the Irish Times. 'As someone who fell off a chair not long ago trying to hear what they were saying at the next table in a restaurant, I suppose…

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In 'The Decay of Lying' Oscar Wilde uses his decadent ideology in an attempt to reverse and therefore reject his audiences' 'normal' conceptualizations of nature, art and morality. Wilde's views of life and art are illustrated through the use of Platonic dialogue…

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Susan Sontag has said that her earliest idea of what a writer should be was "someone who is interested in everything." Thirty-five years after her first collection of essays, the now classic Against Interpretation , our most important essayist has chosen more…

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One of the most fascinating forms of art and expression is the love letter. Love letters have been a way for lovers to exchange their innermost feelings since the earliest forms of writing. The movie Sex and the City shows us the importance of historical love…