Category Archives: Scott (Sir Walter)

Favorite Lit of Our Presidents

What was the favorite literature of the American presidents? I look at works that drew them (up through Franklin Roosevelt–the rest will follow tomorrow) and speculate on why.

Also posted in Addison (Joseph), Bulwer-Lytton (Edward), Byron (Lord Gordon), Cooper (James Fenimore), Defoe (Daniel), Dickens (Charles), Goldsmith (Oliver), Irving (Washington), Pope (Alexander), Robinson (Edward Arlington), Shakespeare (William), Shelley (Percy), Swift (Jonathan) | Leave a comment

Our Christmas Owes Much to Walter Scott

While Charles Dickens can be credited with resurrecting Christmas, Sir Walter Scott paved the way in “Marmion” with his depiction of Christmas and pre-Christmas banquets.

Also posted in Dickens (Charles) | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Soldier, Rest, Thy Warfare O’er

In “Soldier Rest,” Sir Walter Scott captures how inviting death can look to those caught up in battle’s throes.

Also posted in Owen (Wilfred) | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Holiday Gathering of the Bates Clan

The holiday gathering of our family has me thinking of Sir Walter’s Scott’s poem about the gathering of the MacGregor clan.

Also posted in Dryden (John) | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Jane Austen: Feminine AND Feministy

In my student’s eyes, there’s no contradiction between Austen the satirist and Austen the romance writer.

Also posted in Austen (Jane), Radcliffe (Ann) | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Out There the World Is Cruel and Loud

The Prodigal Son is a fruitful story for artist projection.

Also posted in Housman (A. E.), Kipling (Rudyard), Nesbitt (E.) | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mitt Weaves a Tangled Web of Deceit

Mitt Romney’s “tangled web” entraps Obama and recalls Sir Walter Scott.

Also posted in Congreve (William), Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Poetry Be Bad for You?

The possibility that poetry can have a deleterious effect on one (the poetry of Scott and Byron anyway) is a possibility that Austen brings up in “Persuasion.”

Also posted in Austen (Jane), Byron (Lord Gordon) | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments


  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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