Opening with a chapter on how to read an essay, this unique anthology of British and American prose spans the last hundred years of writing to give students not only an experience in the development of the essay form and its evaluation but also in the key historic issues and events that stirred through the last century. To emphasize the contexuality of the selections, each author is introduced by an unusually complete biographic headnote placing the author and work time. A chronological timeline is also provided. Questions following each selection compel students to evaluate the work they have read and to place it in relation to other, pertinent selections in the text. All selections have been thoroughly annotated to explain terms, people, events, and literary allusions that may not be familiar to the student reader. Not just a collection of excellent models of prose, Essays in Context forces students to confront the past, to analyse analysis critically, and to form their own judgment of events and reactions to them. The organization of the text is chronological, in keeping with its historic focus.