It has also been referred to as, “the just after-dinner monologue of an fascinating and effectively-informed man”. It has been referred to as by Saintsbury as, “a function of prose art”. These definitions do not apply to such philosophical essay as Locke’s Essay Regarding Human Understanding or to Pope’s Essay on Criticism and Essay on Man. Hugh Walker has divided essay into two kinds-Essays per excellence and compositions to which custom has assigned the name. the true essay is essentially personal. English essay writing belongs to the literature of self-expression.
Alexander Smith in his paper on English essay writing has characterized the essay par excellence as a literary type which resembles a lyric in so far as it is molded by some central mood-severe, whimsical or satirical. “Given the mood, and the essay from the first sentence to the final grows about it as the cocoon grows about the silkworm”. Essays are “attempts”, and the guiding principle is determined by the mood of the essay writer. Just as in a lyric, the poet pours out his entire heart delighting in the passing mood of the moment, so the literary English essay writing has a pre-eminently subjective character.
Charles Lamb is the perfector of the Literary form of essay– subjective, literary and personal. Leigh Hunt in his Indicator revived the manner, quiet narrative and the style of Steele. Jeffrey in the Edinburgh Overview and Hazlitt in his Table Talk took to literary criticism and raised the typical of literary taste. But Hazlitt has to a lot bitterness to be affable De Quincey is often too imaginative in his conceptions and florid in his style. But Lamb is vital, imaginative and romantic. The central topic matter of the Essays of Elia is Lamb himself-Lamb’s mind re-acting to his research and environments-to life itself. This one more fascinating attribute to English essay writing.
Walter Pater would say, “With him as with Montaigne, the want of self-portraiture is, below all the a lot more superficial tendencies the genuine motive in writing at all-a desire connected with that intimacy, the modern subjectivity, which might be called the Montaignesque element in literature”. The egotism of Lamb is blended with a sweetness all its personal. There is the unmistakable stamp of his lovable character in his essays and his essays are enlivened by genial humour and impish wit. The English essay writings of Lamb may be referred to as confidential chatters as they are wealthy in autobiographical pathos and wide sympathy for humanity.
In Compliant papers of Lamb has fallen on many writers. Stevenson in the later Victorian age inherited the tradition of Lamb. He may not have the similar humour and whimsicality of Lamb, hut he has the similar urbanity in his style, the exact same informal and fresh approach to commonplace subjects. Chesterton writes on trifles but tends to make the trifles tremendous by his inimitable style whilst the writings of Hilaire Belloc are on nothing, on something, on everything. He has a clear incisive style in which humour plays an essential element in his English essay writings.