Here, in this unusual collection, are some of the greatest essays in Western literature. Witty, informative and imaginative, the topics vary from starvation in Ireland, fine China, the extension of railways in the Lake District, and the tombs in Westminster Abbey. A little like after-dinner monologues, they are passing thoughts expressed as journalism. Neville Jason reads with urbane clarity.
The point of this collection is to highlight the essay form as a relatively short, concise piece that tightly argues an idea. Many of the works included are funny, and some are downright shocking, but they're all fascinating. Neville Jason has selected his favorites and delivers them in what could be called the quintessential British narrator's voice. It's deep, precise, mellifluous, authoritative, and distinctive. His phrasing and diction are superb, and he pronounces every word with nary a swallowed consonant. Jason also knows how to present these classics so they ring true to the modern ear, which is not easy considering that most people have not extensively read these authors. Perhaps after hearing Jason's performance, they will.
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Place yourself in an 18th century brain
I am working at the moment with 18th century literature. Listening to these essays helped me to place myself into that Augustan time period and helped me understand the concepts which were developing during this period. Sometimes this style of writing is easier to listen to than read.
Jonathan Swift, I enjoy his form of satire.
- Clair Sheehan