This three-volume set brings together a diverse selection of essays by Sir Leslie Stephen, author, philosopher and literary critic. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, he was the founding editor of the Dictionary of National Biography and father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. He wrote critiques of many authors and works, which were published in periodicals such as the Cornhill Magazine (of which he was editor from 1871), Fraser's Magazine and the Fortnightly Review. The First Series, published in 1874, includes commentaries on the works of Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Sir Walter Scott and Honoré de Balzac, and the poetry of Alexander Pope. Stephen sets each writer's work in its historical context, comparing it to that of other significant authors of its era and evaluating its philosophical and moral qualities. His articles remain of great interest to scholars of early modern, Romantic and Victorian literature.