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date: 16 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the various essay forms in the early modern period, from Francis Bacon's brief and controlled interventions to the sustained and wandering explorations of Sir William Cornwallis, a writer very much in the mould of the significantly more prolix Michel de Montaigne. It describes how the essay blurs into other genres, and encouraged experimentation of all kinds. It stretched especially in the direction of biography and mock biography on the one hand, and in the direction of autobiography on the other.

Keywords: essay writing, English prose, Francis Bacon, William Cornwallis, Michel de Montaigne, biography, autobiography

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