, 1847–1922, English poet and essayist. She spent most of her youth in Italy. Converted to Roman Catholicism in 1872, she wrote much on religious subjects.
The word derives from the French infinitive , "to try" or "to attempt". In English first meant "a trial" or "an attempt", and this is still an alternative meaning. The Frenchman (1533–1592) was the first author to describe his work as essays; he used the term to characterize these as "attempts" to put his thoughts into writing, and his essays grew out of his . Inspired in particular by the works of , a translation of whose () into French had just been published by , Montaigne began to compose his essays in 1572; the first edition, entitled , was published in two volumes in 1580. For the rest of his life, he continued revising previously published essays and composing new ones. 's , published in book form in 1597, 1612, and 1625, were the first works in English that described themselves as . first used the word in English in 1609, according to the .
English Literature: Bacon: As an Essayist
The English essayist, historian, and politician Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron ... was the most popular and dazzling English historian of the 19th century.
Carlyle's character and place in literature have, since his death, as during his life, been subjects of much comment and of comment of the most diverse sorts. He has been extolled on the one hand as the greatest of prophets, the most eloquent of sages; and condemned, on the other, as the noisiest of egoists. It is therefore impossible to fix with any approximation his value as a character or as a man of letters, in the sense that Milton, Addison, Gray and others may be tolerably well characterized. His severest critics, like Mr. Robertson, are undoubtedly right when they accuse him of inconsistency and irrationality and when they point out in his character certain elements of brutality and narrow egoism, and yet the fact remains that he has been the awakening force of many men and that there is a feeling abroad that he is one of the great names in English prose. Perhaps the most sensible of these opposing views may best be summed up in Huxley's words (letter to Lord Stanley, 9 March 1881): “Few men can have dissented more strongly from his way of looking at things than I; but I should not yield to the most devoted of his followers in gratitude for the bracing, wholesome influence of his writings when, as a very young man, I was essaying without rudder or compass to strike out a course for myself.”Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher. .... The first English edition followed in 1838. ..... Oil on canvas, 171 x 143.5 cm. The reputation of Carlyle's early work remained high during the 19th century, but declined in the 20th century.Thomas Penson De Quincey (; 15 August 1785 – 8 December 1859) was an English essayist, best known for his (1821). Many scholars suggest that in publishing this work De Quincey inaugurated the tradition of addiction literature in the West.