As an avid reader of Punch I can say that these essays are much less acerbic than many others written in a similar vein, which featured in that famous periodical.
'Happy Days' is a book for reading in idyllic summer afternoons in the garden with the sunshine streaming through the trees. That was the feeling it evoked in me.
Some essays at the beginning of the book are slightly infantile, but the succeeding pages deliver humour and fun enough to make the casual reader ignore, if not completely forget, this first impression. Certainly Milne wrote plays better than he wrote essays, but nevertheless he is still a very good writer in this branch of literature.
Stephen Leacock certainly is the funniest of all humour writers, beating even Jerome K. Jerome. The short stories in this book simply make you erupt in laughter; not because the actions of the characters are portrayed as funny, but because the author maintains such a serious tone while describing utterly ludicrous scenes.
Especially recommended are "Boarding House Geometry", "A Lesson in Fiction" and "How to Avoid Getting Married."
Incipient love, the inability to express it, and eventual tragedy through forced separation -- these are the themes of this lovely novel. The narrative is freely interspersed with sonnets written by Virginia's mother (Mme. de la Tour) which are mostly tributes to sentiment, and overall the book sounds naive -- which doesn't detract, however, from its pathos and its beauty.
Barry Lyndon -- the story of an Irish boy who uses his wits to get ahead in life. He is involved in duels and wars from a young age (he is in his teens) and ends up making a name for himself as a gambler.
Thackeray\'s writing is distinctly clever. The reader can guess that Barry Lyndon purposely makes himself out to be better than he is, and his indulgent mother reinforces his inflated opinion of himself, when the sad truth is that he was extravagant, blase, avaricious, abusive of his wife and unbearably selfish.