Alison Flood reviews Notting Hill Edition’s first series of books for The Guardian.

A new publisher dedicated to reinvigorating the art of the essay launches this week, featuring works by Roland Barthes and John Berger, and new instructions from Margaret Drabbie and Christopher Ricks.

From French critic Barthes’s diary of bereavement, Mourning Diary, to Cataract, Berger’s reflections on his loss of vision illustrated by Turkish artist Selcuk Demirel, Notting Hill Editions books are “intended to embody the essayistics virtues of brevity, soul and wit.” according to the publisher’s editorial director the literary critic and author Lucasta Miller.