6 The essays
Having looked at the contexts and background, let us turn now to the essays themselves. I have used the edition of 1837, which was based on the second edition of the complete work, dating from 1816. However, it is worth noting that Owen made revisions and additions to subsequent English, French and American versions, so the reader will come across occasional references and allusions to developments which are out of context with the period when the essays were first written. I shall draw to your attention any that affect your reading of the shortened version of the essays. I also want to convey directly the flavour of the whole work, which has been edited to this end by Alison Hiley.