Literature

'Romeo and Juliet' is not a Romance

'Romeo and Juliet' is not a Romance

We read this tragedy through the emotion-obsessed eyes of Romanticism, a movement that did not emerge until 200 years after the play was written. 

What happened when a Muslim student went to Cambridge in 1816

What happened when a Muslim student went to Cambridge in 1816

Mirza Salih was invited to Cambridge to help translate the Bible into Persian.

Teacher: Embrace Books, Ditch Technology

Teacher: Embrace Books, Ditch Technology

Our classrooms should be places where we push back against technology, against a life largely circumscribed by screens.

Prof: Today’s Students and Professors ‘Know Hardly Anything about Anything at All’
Is ‘devouring’ books a sign of superficiality in a reader?

Is ‘devouring’ books a sign of superficiality in a reader?

Two hundred years ago, describing someone as ‘devouring’ a book would have been an act of moral censure. 

My Meeting with Solzhenitsyn

My Meeting with Solzhenitsyn

Writer Joseph Pearce interviewed the Nobel Prize-winning writer before his death. 

Are We Living in T.S. Eliot’s ‘Waste Land’?

Are We Living in T.S. Eliot’s ‘Waste Land’?

The poem presents a panoply of characters, all as vain as they are vacuous. Empty heads and empty hearts leading empty lives. 

Are we witnessing the birth of a Revolution?

Are we witnessing the birth of a Revolution?

A historian explains the key markings of revolution. It’s a description worth reading. 

Report: What Today's High School Seniors Are Reading

Report: What Today's High School Seniors Are Reading

The report was based on data from 9.8 million students.

Quiz: Name The Famous Book By The Secondary Character

Quiz: Name The Famous Book By The Secondary Character

How well do you know literature? 

Mark Twain’s Top 5 Tips for Living a Kick-Ass Life

Mark Twain’s Top 5 Tips for Living a Kick-Ass Life

Here are five Mark Twain inspired tips for living a better life.

Psychologist: 8 Ways Parents Can Get a Child to Read

Psychologist: 8 Ways Parents Can Get a Child to Read

Is there a way for parents to encourage reading habits in children who may have learned to handle simple texts, but aren’t turning into avid readers?

Walt Whitman’s (Surprising) Advice to Would-Be Writers

Walt Whitman’s (Surprising) Advice to Would-Be Writers

Three pieces of writing advice from the “Leaves of Grass” poet. 

Brutal Reviews of Shakespeare from the 1600s

Brutal Reviews of Shakespeare from the 1600s

These reviews of 'Romeo and Juliet,' 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' and 'Hamlet' are not kind.

Students Today: Minds without ‘Furniture’

Students Today: Minds without ‘Furniture’

Don't expect them to answer basic questions about their own civilization. 

Can You Solve These Medieval Riddles?

Can You Solve These Medieval Riddles?

'No one can hold me in his palms or sight: I scatter sudden clatter far and wide. I want to hammer oaks with...'

Daniel Webster’s Secret to Intellectual Growth
Shakespeare: More Beneficial than Self-Help Books?
Surprised (and Saddened) by Joy

Surprised (and Saddened) by Joy

'I came away...not only repulsed by her but actually questioning the very judgment and goodness of C.S. Lewis.'

How Machiavellian Are You?

How Machiavellian Are You?

Is it better to be feared or loved? Let's see how much Machiavelli you have in you!

That Alexander Hamilton Had One Messed Up Childhood

That Alexander Hamilton Had One Messed Up Childhood

But his Dickensian upbringing is not the most amazing part of the story.

Bedtime Stories Help Kids—So Ban Them?

Bedtime Stories Help Kids—So Ban Them?

How does that make sense?

Who Wrote This Medieval Literary Classic?

Who Wrote This Medieval Literary Classic?

Can you match these nine famous medieval authors to their works?

Why are So Many Movies Based on Children’s Classics So Bad?
Can You Pass This American Literature Quiz from 1911?

Can You Pass This American Literature Quiz from 1911?

American high schoolers used these questions to review and prepare for tests such as the New York Regents exam.

Homer’s ‘Iliad’ is a Morality Tale

Homer’s ‘Iliad’ is a Morality Tale

The message the poet means to convey in his epic are not historical facts, but eternal moral truths.

Solzhenitsyn, Suffering, and the Meaning of Life

Solzhenitsyn, Suffering, and the Meaning of Life

The purpose of life is not worldly riches and the creature comforts they can purchase. Such trinkets can never satisfy the needs of the soul.

J.R.R. Tolkien's Hope for the Modern World

J.R.R. Tolkien's Hope for the Modern World

It rested in the idea that God makes nothing in vain, and that Grace perfects fallen nature.

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