The Essay Course

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Host: Idler Academy
Location: 81 Westbourne Park Road, London W2 5QH
Speaker: Ophelia Field

Just as The Idler Academy is feeding the current appetite for coffeehouse conversation, so there is a growing 18th-century-style interest in short non-fiction, and long-form journalism. Come join our pioneering gathering as we look at the lineage of the English essay, analyze what makes an essay succeed or fail, and play show-and-tell with our personal favourites. We will be discussing great essayists such as Montaigne, Chesterton, Lamb and Orwell and a contemporary essayist will join our final sessions.

Ophelia Field is the author of two acclaimed historical biographies, the second of which, The Kit-Cat Club (HarperCollins, 2008), concerned the great early eighteenth century periodical essayists, Joseph Addison and Richard Steele. She is currently the Essay Librarian for Notting Hill Editions (http://www.nottinghilleditions.com/essay-library), and is compiling a NHE book of some 300 reviews of essays, recommended by distinguished authors and other essay-enthusiasts. She is also quietly trying her own hand at a few semi-personal essays.

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