The English essay has expanded its scope to straddle the grave and the light-hearted with equal ease. Reflections: For Kerala University, an anthology of essays, explores the myriad forms this genre has taken over the centuries, from Francis Bacon's ‘On Studies', which explores the virtues of reading, to Charles Lamb's ‘Dream Children: A Reverie', an imaginative rendering of the author's fancies. A prescribed textbook for the B.A. English literature course of the University of Kerala, the anthology provides an introduction about the author, a summary, detailed annotations and questions along with each essay. The collection is a mix of the serious and the light-hearted, arranged chronologically to help the student trace the development of the form. Students will discover that essays like Joseph Addison's ‘Sir Roger at the Assizes' and the excerpts from Samuel Pepys' Diary, though written more than 300 years ago, can still raise a smile or a glimmer of recognition. Written in styles ranging from the familiar to the didactic, the pieces in this collection also throw light on the people who would have formed their readership. They provide an insight into their desires and aspirations, as reflected in their subject and treatment.