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Michel de Montaigne was one of the most influential figures of the Renaissance, singlehandedly responsible for popularising the essay as a literary form. This Penguin Classics edition of The Complete Essays is translated from the French and edited with an…read more

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"It is not enough to have a good mind; it is more important to use it well" René Descartes was a central figure in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. In his Discourse on Method he outlined the contrast between mathematics and…read more

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"Surely his most interesting, plausibly his most memorable, and . . . arguably his best book" — The New York Times Book Review For John Steinbeck, who hated the telephone, letter-writing was a preparation for work and a natural way for him to communicate his…read more

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Composed during a critical time in the evolution of European intellectual life, the works of Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-1327) are some of the most powerful medieval attempts to achieve a synthesis between ancient Greek thought and the Christian faith. Writing with…read more

Dialogues And Letters

by C Seneca

|November 1, 1997

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Included in this volume are the dialogues On the Shortness of Life and On Tranquility of Mind , which are eloquent classic statements of Stoic ideals of fortitude and self-reliance. This selection also features extracts from Natural Questions , Seneca's…read more

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The Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, also called the Age of Reason, was so named for an intellectual movement that shook the foundations of Western civilization. In championing radical ideas such as individual liberty and an empirical appraisal of the…read more

The Essays

by Francis Bacon

|January 7, 1986

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The genius of Francis Bacon is nowhere better revealed than in his essays. Bacon’s education was grounded in the classical texts of ancient Greece and Rome, but he brought vividness and colour to the arid scholasticism of medieval book-learning. Whatever…read more

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Reflections by the creator of the essay form display the humane, skeptical, humorous, and honest views of Montaigne, revealing his thoughts on sexuality, religion, cannibals, intellectuals, and other unexpected themes. Included are such celebrated works as "On…read more

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Providing a series of fascinating views of Imperial Rome, The Letters of the Younger Pliny also offer one of the fullest self-portraits to survive from classical times. Pliny's lively and very personal letters address an astonishing range of topics, from a…read more

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Tolstoy's passionate and iconoclastic writings--on issues of faith, immortality, freedom, violence, and morality--reflect his intellectual search for truth and a religion firmly grounded in reality. The selection includes 'A Confession,' 'Religion and…read more

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This volume contains a generous selection from the essays Johnson published twice weekly as "The Rambler" in the early 1750s. It was here that he first created the literary character and forged the distinctive prose style that established him as a public figure.…read more

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Do good girls do it? Do they ever! And month after month, women who love making love tell how they take every pleasure and shatter every taboo in their very own letters to Penthouse-America's premier forum for thrill-seekers of all sexes. From the first time to…read more