Essay Writing History


If a student would like to view some really fantastic essays, the student should read essays written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, or Edgar Allen Poe. These 3 writers all know how to write an essay very well. Some of the most famous essays were written about 100 AD by a man named Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, or commonly known as Plutarch. Plutarch was a Greek historian, biographer and, of all things, an essayist.

            Plutarch's most famous peice of work is Parallel Lives, this is about the biographies of great Greeks and Romans. The greeks and romans were arranged in pairs to enhance their moral and vices. 23 pairs of Greek and Roman Lives were in this peice. This also included 4 unparied Lives as well.

            Emerson used numbers in his essay's to put parts of his essay's in groups. Emerson was well know for essay writing. His first famous essay was in1841 as Essays. His second series called After Essays was a big hit in 1844 and soon in 1844; In 1847 Emerson republished After Essays with his correctiuons and named it First Series.

Henry David Thoreau’s essays were entitled: Civil Disobedience; Life without Principle; a Plea for Captain John Brown; and Slavery in Massachusetts. It is absolutely amazing that the same man who wrote the beautiful lines of Walden’s Pond could write such political essays with such strong opinion.

            Edgar Allen Poe wrote essays that almost every person can remember. His innovative and unique writing style brought Poe the notice of every different kind of critic, yet has withstood the test of time of his excellent writing skills. Some of Poe’s famous essays were: The Philosophy ofFurniture; The Black Cat; and The Cask of Amontillado. His stories and poems will live forever and his essays are a wonderful starting point for students to read to find creative ways of writing narrative and expository essays.
            Essay writing has been around for a long time, hundreds of decades, and yet the essay writing still goes on and on. The student must find his own “way” of writing essays, but the review of the great essayists is a wonderful help.