Modern Essays
Courtesy Miriam Kilmer
I sort of realize what we’re fighting for now, and I never did before. It’s for women like that and their kids.
—“Holy Ireland

Modern Essays

Selected by Christopher Morley

Thirty-three epitomal English and American personal essays chosen by a novelist who conceived the reader of his anthology as “a friend spending the evening in happy gossip along the shelves.”

Bibliographic Record Preface



  1. American Literature by John Macy
  2. Mary White by William Allen White
  3. Niagara Falls by Rupert Brooke
  4. The Almost Perfect State by Don Marquis
  5. The Man-o’-War’s ’Er ’Usband” by David W. Bone
  6. The Market by William McFee
  7. Holy Ireland by Joyce Kilmer
  8. A Familiar Preface by Joseph Conrad
  9. On Drawing by A. P. Herbert
  10. O. Henry by O. W. Firkins
  11. The Mowing of a Field by Hilaire Belloc
  12. The Student Life by William Osler
  13. The Decline of the Drama by Stephen Leacock
  14. America and the English Tradition by Harry Morgan Ayres
  15. The Russian Quarter by Thomas Burke
  16. A Word for Autumn by A. A. Milne
  17. A Clergyman” by Max Beerbohm
  18. Samuel Butler: Diogenes of the Victorians by Stuart P. Sherman
  19. Bed-Books and Night-Lights by H. M. Tomlinson
  20. The Precept of Peace by Louise Imogen Guiney
  21. On Lying Awake at Night by Stewart Edward White
  22. A Woodland Valentine by Marian Storm
  23. The Elements of Poetry by George Santayana
  24. Nocturne by Simeon Strunsky
  25. Beer and Cider by George Saintsbury
  26. A Free Man’s Worship by Bertrand Russell
  27. Some Historians by Philip Guedalla
  28. Winter Mist by Robert Palfrey Utter
  29. Trivia by Logan Pearsall Smith
  30. Beyond Life by James Branch Cabell
  31. The Fish Reporter by Robert Cortes Holliday
  32. Some Nonsense About a Dog by Harry Esty Dounce
  33. The Fifty-First Dragon by Heywood Broun