Consisting of essays of the 1960s and 1970s, and assembled by Laura (Riding) Jackson herself, this previously unpublished collection is both a substantial addition to the work of her later period, after she had renounced poetry, and also a spirited contribution to later twentieth-century debates about language, literature, and life. There is immense variety and appeal here. Readers will find themselves challenged by the author’s combative engagement with her contemporaries, and rewarded by the lucid complexity and immediacy of her thinking. Topics include: love, friendship, imagination; thinking, belief, and conviction; the importance of knowledge of language; the active unselfishness of women; the intrinsic reality of mind; death; good and evil; ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’; structuralism and theory; the novel, history, myth – besides her judgements on writers such as Coleridge, and contemporaries such as Stein. As the excitement aroused by ‘theory’ subsides, now may be the time for Laura (Riding) Jackson’s considered judgement of the spiritual function of language and human life to be given the attention it deserves.