Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Deal Me In 2017: In which I will be reading 52 essays at the very least!

About two months ago I had got ready a list of short stories and poems I wanted to read for Jay's Deal Me In Challenge in 2017. However, since then I have been struggling with my final decision as I have been wanting to read a bunch of essays as well. After much internal debating I have decided to go with the essays instead, and to keep the first list in reserve for the following year (perhaps). 

So, for the upcoming Deal Me in Challenge, I have decided to read 52 essays. I have chosen lists for three suits from A Book of English Essays published by Penguin Classics. This book consists of pieces from well-known essayists of the 16th century up to the early 20th century.  The final thirteen I have chosen from The Literary Network

I am quite excited about this venture, and look forward to sharing my views on these essays too, should I feel up for it, that is. For the most part, I have decided to at least share my favourite quotations. 

And now for the list! 
Note 1:1 = Ace, 11 = Jack, 12 = Queen, 13 = King
Note 2: I have allowed myself two wild cards


  1. Of Travel by Francis Bacon
  2. On Death by Jeremy Taylor
  3. A Citizen's Diary by Joseph Addison
  4. Recollections of Childhood by Richard Steele
  5. The Man in Black by Oliver Goldsmith
  6. Old China by Charles Lamb
  7. On the Ignorance of the Learned by William Hazlitt
  8. On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth by Thomas de Quincey
  9. Getting up on Cold Mornings by Leigh Hunt
  10. Walking Tours by Robert Louis Stevenson
  11. A Defence of Nonsense by G. K. Chesterton
  12. The Crooked Streets by Hillaire Belloc
  13. The Maypole and the Column by Maurice Hewlett
  1. A Funeral by E. V. Lucas
  2. The Defects of English Prose by Arthur Clutton-Brock
  3. Broken Memories by Edward Thomas
  4. Likes and Dislikes by James Agate
  5. The Darkness by Robert Lynd
  6. A Village Celebration by A. A. Milne
  7. Wild Card
  8. A Defence of Shyness by Harold Nicolson
  9. 'W.G.' by Neville Cardus
  10. A Sentimental Journey by Ivor Brown
  11. On Doing Nothing by J. B. Priestley
  12. Tragedy and the Whole Truth by Aldous Huxley
  13. The Dean by V. S. Pritchett
  1. The Tombs in Westminster Abbey by Joseph Addison
  2. A Party at Vauxhall Gardens by Oliver Goldsmith
  3. Poor Relations by Charles Lamb
  4. On Not Being a Philosopher by Robert Lynd
  5. My First Article by J. B. Priestley
  6. On Familiar Style by William Hazlitt
  7. Wild Card
  8. A Piece of Chalk by G. K. Chesterton
  9. Seeing the Actors by J. B. Priestley
  10. Why We Hate Insects by Robert Lynd
  11. Imperfect Sympathies by Charles Lamb
  12. National Prejudices by Oliver Goldsmith
  13. Ladies' Head-dress by Joseph Addison


  1. On the Writing of Lyrics by P. G. Wodehouse
  2. The Critic as Artist by Oscar Wilde
  3. Reflections on Gandhi by George Orwell 
  4. Concerning the American Language by Mark Twain
  5. A Letter to a Hindu by Leo Tolstoy
  6. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
  7. The Spirit of Japan by Rabindranath Tagore
  8. To Chekhov's Memory by Aleksandr Ivanovich Kuprin
  9. Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard III by Horace Walpole
  10. Old English Poetry by Edgar Allan Poe
  11. How I Became a Socialist by Jack London
  12. The Decline of the Drama by Stephen Leacock
  13. A Letter to Lord Chesterfield by Samuel Johnson
I will be updating this post with links to my thoughts/quotations/reviews on these essays. :)


  1. What a great roster of essays! I don't know that I've read more than a couple (Wilde, Orwell) but many of the authors I know. I'm anxious to hear about DeQuincy too, as I almost included him in my suit of "Author Street Names" from my childhood neighborhood (my paper route was on DeQuincey) so I may steal that one as my wild card... :-)

    1. Steal away!:D....I read this particular DeQuincey essay years ago in college. I don't remember any of it, and I think when I read it now I might actually appreciate it!

  2. Oh how cool! It looks like 2017 is going to be a great year for you! You have so much to read! I wish I could participate with you, but as I'm getting older, I'm getting busier!

    1. I know what you mean. I suspect I might have been a bit ambitious with my various challenge sign-ups. But I'd like to give them a go anyway.:)

  3. Oh wow, you have some wonderful essays listed! I wish I'd seen your list before I compiled mine, as I would have "borrowed" some of yours. I'm especially happy to see Chesterton, Tagore and, of all people, Joseph Addison! I've been wanting to read some of Charles Lamb's essays as well. Hmmm .... perhaps I'll fit some of these in outside my challenge!

    All the best for this 2017 challenge!

    1. I was particular about Addison, Hazlitt and Steele! I recall enjoying the odd essay or two I read by them years ago. I was never fond of Lamb. I thought he rambled too much. But I suspect I might like him now. I'm excited about Chesterton too!

  4. Wow, what a list! I don't know that I would be able to commit to that many eassys in a year. A true challenge! The only one I'm familiar with is the Thoreau, which I've actually read twice. Good luck!

    1. I figure it's just once a week, so it's likely do-able. :D.... I drew up Thoreau for my very first essay of the year!!...I have yet to complete it though.


Hello! It is always nice to know someone has stopped by and read something I have written. It is nicer when they choose to comment. It is the nicest when they choose to comment encouragingly and constructively.