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(1835–1910). Twain was of course a popular novelist and a lecturer, but his essays—which often combined fictional and nonfictional elements, and so are sometimes difficult to categorize—displayed his deep talent as a humorist just as well as his other work did. Never limiting himself to short pieces, Twain engaged instead in a broad range of essay forms, from travel letters to memoirs to social and political commentary. Though some of his pieces Were journalistic and ephemeral, and others—especially later in his career—were polemical and pessimistic, what characterized almost all of his nonfiction work was not only humor but an interest in storytelling, whether a brief anecdote or a full-fledged account. Such a style complemented his skills as a lecturer—though they were much different skills from those of other popular American essayist-lecturers such as, for example, Emerson. For Twain, essays were about the “high and delicate art” or “how a story ought to be told.”
Literary essays by lesser-known writers had also taken their place in the American essay tradition in the early to mid-19th century, many of them under the intangible influence of Washington Irving. Soon after his success, American writers began to develop a faculty for the criticism of literature as well as its creation.

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List of notable or famous essayists from the United States, with bios and photos, including the top essayists born in the United States and even some popular essayists who immigrated to the United States. If you're trying to find out the names of famous American essayists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These essayists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known essayist from the United States is included when available.


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List of notable or from the , with bios and photos, including the top essayists born in the United States and even some popular essayists who immigrated to the United States. If you're trying to find out the names of famous American essayists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These essayists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known essayist from the United States is included when available.

This list is made up of a variety of people, including Gore Vidal and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

This historic essayists from the United States list can help answer the questions "Who are some American essayists of note?" and "Who are the most famous essayists from the United States?" These prominent essayists of the United States may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected American essayists.

Use this list of renowned American essayists to discover some new essayists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the icons at the top or bottom of the page. (164 items)