We are grateful to writers, teachers, and college instructors for sharing literature- and writing-related articles for

On behalf of Excellence in Literature, I would like to express appreciation for all the writers, professors, teachers, and others who have graciously shared articles, links, and resources with this site. Your generosity is enabling us to build an outstanding learning destination for students and other lovers of great books. Thank you!

Janice Campbell

Pastor Paul Gregory Alms: Memoir as Post Modern History

Paul Gregory Alms is a Lutheran minister, writer and reader. His writing has won awards from the Associated Church Press and has appeared in many forums. His interests include history, theology, rock and roll, pop culture, and any interesting non-fiction writing. He still reads books that are printed on paper.

Richard Austin: Recitations of Hopkins’ Poetry

Richard Austin recites Gerard Manley Hopkins' poetry all over the world.Richard Austin grew up in the same corner of England as Gerard Manley Hopkins. Thus blessed with the correct native accent, he now recites Hopkins’ poetry all over the world. He discovered this poetry as a young man, when the poignant verses of Hopkins soothed his soul in the face of personal tragedy. He trained as an actor, worked extensively in theater and television, and devoted himself to memorizing Hopkins’ poetry. In 2003, he released an audio CD of his Hopkins recordings, entitled Back to Beauty’s Giver. Although his inspiring performances and master classes are in demand at Hopkins societies, conferences, universities, and colleges around the globe, he still enjoys reciting poetry with new friends at small gatherings.

Dr. Timothy Bartel: Poetry Videos

Dr. Timothy BartelDr. Timothy E. G. Bartel is a poet and professor from California. He lectures on the history, formal traditions, and cultural significance of poetry on YouTube through his Knowing Poetry series. Dr. Bartel is the author of several books, including The Heroines of Henry Longfellow (Lexington Books, 2023), and A Crown for Abba Moses: New and Selected Poems (Solum Literary Press, 2023). He holds a PhD in Divinity from University of St Andrews and an MFA in Poetry from Seattle Pacific University. Dr. Bartel currently teaches literature and theology at Saint Constantine College. His latest book, published in January 2024, is entitled The Poets and the Fathers: Theology and Poetry from Gregory Nazianzus to Scott Cairns.

Boston Athenæum: Amy Lowell Biography

The Boston Athenæum is a unique combination of library, museum, and cultural center in a magnificent landmark building in Boston, Massachusetts.  It is one of the country’s oldest and most distinguished independent libraries, with a circulating collection of over half a million books, from works published in the 1800s to the latest best sellers. Special collections include active research holdings of 100,000 rare books, maps and manuscripts, and 100,000 works of art, from paintings and sculpture to prints and photographs.  Members, visitors, and the community enjoy a year-round schedule of cultural programming – author talks, book clubs, exhibitions, concerts, social gatherings, and opportunities for connection.

Willa Cather Foundation: Willa Cather Biography

The Willa Cather Foundation—formerly the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial—is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather and preserving the historical settings and archival material associated with her life and writings. Since its founding in 1955, the Foundation has been headquartered in Cather’s hometown of rural Red Cloud, Nebraska.

CiRCE Institute: Babette’s Feast & The Beatific Vision by Joshua Gibbs

The CiRCE Institute is a leading provider of inspiration, information, and insight to classical educators throughout the U.S. and Canada via an annual conference, an online classical academy, in-house teacher training, Lost Tools of Writing™ workshops and materials, as well as consulting on board development, school leadership, and school start-up. CiRCE’s content-laden website and blog provide many other valuable resources.

Dr. Ellen Condict: It’s Time to Rediscover the Power of Poetry

Dr. Ellen Condict teaches Upper School literature full-time at Hillsdale Academy, Hillsdale College’s classical school. She is also an adjunct professor at Hillsdale College. Before coming to Hillsdale, she worked for a variety of schools, including Christian, college prep, and reform schools. Her Ph.D. is from Baylor University, and her areas of specialized study included medieval religion and literature and the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins. 

Dr. Melba Cuddy-Keane: Victorian/Modern Comparison

Dr. Melba Cuddy-Keane is a professor of English at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Cathy Decker: To the Lighthouse Study Guide

Dr. Cathy Decker is an English professor at Chaffey College (CA).

Dr. Alfred Drake: Chaucer Study Questions

Dr. Alfred J. Drake is an English professor at California State University in Fullerton, CA.

Dr. Bruce Edwards: C. S. Lewis Biography

Dr. Bruce Edwards shared his biography of C.S. Lewis with the Excellence in Literature website.Dr. Bruce L. Edwards is Professor Emeritus of English ​from ​Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He earned his Ph.D. in Literature and Rhetoric from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981, writing his dissertation on the literary criticism of C. S. Lewis. ​His C. S. Lewis: Life, Works, Legacy (4 volumes) was published by Praeger Press (2008). Bruce’s other publications include books on The Chronicles of Narnia: Not a Tame Lion (Tyndale, 2005) and Further Up and Further In: Understanding C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, both of which have been well received. He has published two previous books on Lewis, including A Rhetoric of Reading: C. S. Lewis’s Defense of Western Literacy and The Taste of the Pineapple: Essays on C. S. Lewis as Reader, Critic, and Imaginative Writer. He is also a contributor to the recently published C. S. Lewis Bible (Harper, 2010)​,​ and numerous collections of essays about Lewis and the Inklings.

Stacy Esch: Resources for Dante’s Divine Comedy, Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy Stories”

S_EschphotoStacy Esch teaches composition and literature at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She is an avid supporter of the liberal arts tradition in higher education.

Bamber Gascoigne: History of the Renaissance, History of Kenya

Bamber Gascoigne is an author and television broadcaster.Bamber Gascoigne is an author and broadcaster. He has published three novels, but his best-known books are histories and reference works on broad themes: World Theatre, The Great Moghuls, Treasures and Dynasties of China, The Christians, How to Identify Prints, and Encyclopedia of Britain. On television, he has been the author and presenter of several historical documentary series: The Christians, Victorian Values, Man and Music, and The Great Moghuls. He was also for twenty-five years the presenter of a weekly quiz show for students, University Challenge. Since 1994, he has been writing a digital history of the world for the internet. It went online in 2001 as and in 2002 won the New Statesman New Media award for the best educational website. His text, of about one and a half million words, forms the core around which the site is growing. He and his wife Christina (an artist and potter) have lived in Richmond, a suburb of London, since 1967.

Dr. Jonathan Gottschall: Hidden Histories

Dr. Jonathan Gottschall is a Distinguished Research Fellow in the English Department at Washington & Jefferson College. His research at the intersection of science and art has frequently been covered in outlets like The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, Scientific American, The New Yorker, The AtlanticThe Chronicle of Higher Education,  Nature, Science, and NPR. His blog, The Storytelling Animal, is featured at Psychology Today.  The Storytelling Animal was a New York Times Editor’s Choice Selection and a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. He lives with his wife and two young daughters in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Mark Grabowski: Journalism Story Structure

Mark GrabowskiMark Grabowski is a journalism professor at Adelphi University in Long Island. View more lessons from him at:

Greater Richmond Children’s Choir: “The Nightingale” Madrigal

The Greater Richmond Children’s Choir (GRCC) brings together boys and girls from diverse backgrounds who develop a love for singing and good music through age-appropriate vocal training. Based in Richmond, VA, the choir learns a challenging multicultural repertoire and performs both locally and abroad under the direction of Hope Armstrong Erb. Learn more at their website:

Dr. Zvi Har’El: Jules Verne at home (1894 interview)

The late Zvi Har’El’s Jules Verne website, now maintained by his son Nadav Har’El, hosts a wealth of resources and information:

Zvi Har’El’s personal website also has links to other websites he put together for Hans Christian Anderson and Escher works:

Rachel Jirka: Amy Lowell Biography

Rachel Jirka, who worked at the Boston Athenæum previously, is now the College Archivist at Amherst College.

Dr. William Johnson: Aeneid Study Guide

Dr. William Johnson is a Professor of Classical Studies at Duke University.

Ian Johnston: Some Preliminary Observations on Classical Greek Literature

Ian Johnston is a retired instructor (now a Research Associate) at Vancouver Island University (formerly Malaspina College), Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

Dr. Whitley Kaufman: Notes on Poe’s story “The Purloined Letter”

Dr. Whitley Kaufman is a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, MA.

Dr. Steven Kreis: The History Guide lectures

Dr. Steven Kreis is a professor of history and military studies at American Public University. He has written The History Guide, a series of lectures that are a wonderful resource for anyone studying history.

Blake Linton: (Editor) “In the Year 2889” by Jules Verne

Blake Linton is a science-fiction author and enthusiast.

Lippincott Massie McQuilkin (LMQ): “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty

LIPPINCOTT MASSIE McQUILKIN is a full-service literary agency that focuses on bringing fiction and non-fiction of quality to the largest possible audience. We work closely with our clients at every stage of a project’s development, submission, and placement—staying involved in all issues of design, publicity and sales, long after the ink has dried on a contract, to ensure that the author’s needs are being met by his or her publisher.”

EIL Editor’s Note: Many thanks to the LMQ staff, especially Genevieve Buzo, for their kind and helpful assistance which allowed us to publish this story on EIL.

Cheryl Lowe: Why Study the Pagans?

Cheryl LoweCheryl Lowe is a former homeschool mother and public school teacher who has taught hundreds of students in different educational environments. Cheryl started Memoria Press to serve parents and schools, who seek excellence in education, by publishing classical educational materials developed in the classroom. She is the co-author (with Leigh Lowe) of Memoria Press’ Christian Studies program, as well as the author of the Latina Christiana program.

Dr. Sebastian Mahfood: Video Reflections on Cantos in Dante’s Inferno

Dr. Sebastian Mahfood was kind enough to share these Dante resources with us.Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP, is a Lay Dominican of the Province of St. Albert the Great and serves as Vice-President of Administration at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, CT. In addition, he directs the Catholic Distance Learning Network of the National Catholic Educational Association’s Seminary Department in Arlington, VA, where he teaches free online courses in Dante’s Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso; and works as Provost of the online continuing education programs at Sacred Heart Institute in Huntington, NY. He lives in St. Louis with his wife, Dr. Stephanie Mahfood, and their children, Alexander and Eva Ruth.

Dr. Cary Mazer: Bernard Shaw, A Brief Biography

Cary M. Mazer is Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and English at the University of Pennsylvania, and writes about Victorian and Edwardian theatre, and about Shakespeare performance history.  He has worked as a guest dramaturg for several professional theatre companies in the Philadelphia area.

Dr. Lilia Melani: Religion in Robinson Crusoe, “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”, and Introduction to Romanticism

Dr. Lilia Melani is a member of the English Department at Brooklyn College (City University of New York).

Frederick Millett: Symbols in The Great Gatsby

Frederick Millett is a graduate of Michigan State University and the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center).  While in law school, Mr. Millett worked as an intern at the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) in Atlanta, Georgia, where, among other things, he worked on and helped write the reply brief for the Supreme Court case, Snyder v. Louisiana, 128 S. Ct. 1203 (2008).  He is now an attorney at Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper, & Scinto in New York, where he practices intellectual property law.  Mr. Millett is the author of the following publications:

Dr. David Murphy: Illustrator Howard Pyle

Murphy croppedDr. David Murphy grew up in a family that enjoyed classic illustrated tales and comics. Now a Professor of Mathematics at Hillsdale College, his research interests include representation theory, invariant theory, and recreational mathematics (how to solve puzzles); he coauthored the textbook Algebraic Geometry: A Problem Solving Approach, published by the American Mathematical Society in 2014. Outside the classroom, he’s still an enthusiastic collector of works by Howard Pyle and other classic illustrators.

Dr. Lorraine Murphy: Interviews on Austen and Other Literature

Dr. Murphy is an Associate Professor of English at Hillsdale College.

Liam Quin: contributor of Geoffrey Chaucer image

Liam Quin’s website offers “Pictures, Engravings, & Extracts From Old Books,” including thousands of free high-resolution images:

Sara Selby: Brontë resources, A Micro-History of the English Language, & Versification

Sara Selby is currently the campus director of the Waycross campus of South Georgia State College and was a professor of English at Waycross College (GA). She holds a BA and MA in English from the University of Mississippi, where she also completed additional graduate studies in English. She is the Deep South regional representative for the American Chapters of the Brontë Society and publishes a quarterly newsletter for regional members.

Steamboat Times (“Finn”): contributor of Mark Twain photograph

Photograph featured in Mark Twain’s biography, autobiography, and poem “To Jennie”

Steamboat Times, “A Pictorial History of the Mississippi Steamboating Era,” is a wonderful website to explore for more information about Mississippi River steamboating, with many fascinating images and a wealth of historical information.

Deborah Stokol: Why We Read The Odyssey

Deborah Stokol is a Los Angeles native who attended Harvard-Westlake School before double majoring in English and Music at UC Berkeley and pursuing a Master’s in Journalism at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. There, she received the Director’s Award for Excellence and followed a path in Journalism, helping to found USC’s Neon Tommy, working for the Los Angeles Times, interning at Los Angeles Magazine, earning a Carnegie- and Knight Foundation-funded Reporting Fellowship, and freelancing for various media outlets and Web sites. She substitute taught at Harvard-Westlake and other prep schools in Los Angeles and went on to teach full-time at La Jolla’s The Bishop’s School, where she currently works. She is in her third year as a high school English/Writing- and Journalism teacher, while also heading the school newspaper, The Tower. She loves spending her days volleying ideas with bright, eager students, discussing the finer points of literature and essay-esque writing with them, and delving into what makes fine prose so fine during heated editorial discussions and writing workshops with these young scholars. On her own time, she writes essays, poetry, short stories, and songs, and plays the piano and sings.

Luis Sundkvist: Turgenev and Tchaikovsky

Luis Sundkvist studied Russian and German literature at the University of Cambridge and went on to do a PhD there, under the supervision of Diane Oenning Thompson, on Turgenev’s thoughts about the development of the arts in Russia. He works as an editor and translator.

Dr. Robert Thacker: Willa Cather Biography

Dr. Robert ThackerRobert Thacker is Charles A. Dana Professor of Canadian Studies and English Emeritus at St. Lawrence University. He has published extensively on Alice Munro, Cather, the Prairie West, and Canada-U.S. literary comparisons. His books include The Great Prairie Fact and Literary Imagination (1989), the biography, Alice Munro: Writing Her Lives (2005; revised 2011), and Alice Munro’s Late Style: “Writing is the Final Thing” (2023). He edited Cather’s April Twilights and Other Poems (2013) and coedited Willa Cather’s Canadian and Old World Connections (Cather Studies 4, 1999), Willa Cather: A Writer’s Worlds (Cather Studies 8, 2009), and Willa Cather at the Modernist Crux (Cather Studies 11, 2017). He was codirector of three International Cather Seminars (Quebec City, 1995; France, 2007; Flagstaff, Arizona, 2013) and is now editing the scholarly edition of Cather’s Complete Poems.

Bill Thayer: (Editor) Life of Vergil by Suetonius

Thanks to Bill Thayer for his enthusiasm for history, dedication to accuracy, and all the work he has done to make these classic texts available to a new generation.

Pamela Whalan: Pride and Prejudice: A Play, The Social Background of Pride and PrejudiceEmma: A Play, Understanding Emma’s World

Pamela Whalan is a Jane Austen scholar who has adapted Austen's novels for the theater.Since 1962, Pamela Whalan has been an active member of the Genesian Theatre in Sydney, Australia, including working as the Theatre Director for six years. She has also been a member of JASA (Jane Austen Society of Australia) for twenty years. Combining her love of the works of Austen and her love of theatre, she has adapted five of Austen’s novels for the stage. These adaptations have been published and produced successfully in Australia and the United States. In addition, on a number of occasions Pamela has presented papers on the works of Austen at conferences in Australia, Canada, and the U.S.A.

In 2002, Pamela returned to her hometown of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. Shortly afterwards, she was invited to become a judge for CONDA (City of Newcastle Drama Awards) and performed this civic duty for the next twelve years.

Pamela holds an M.A. from the University of Sydney and an MLitt from the University of New England (Australia). She has done extensive post-graduate study in the field of 20th century Irish Drama, and she taught English for many years at the University of Technology in Sydney.

Dr. L Kip Wheeler: Study Questions for Canterbury Tales

Dr. Wheeler is an English professor at Carson-Newman College (TN).

Dr. Ann Woodlief: American Romanticism, Thoreau Biography, and Emerson Biography

Dr. Ann Woodlief was a professor of American literature at Virginia Commonwealth University for 30 years.Dr. Ann Woodlief was a professor of American literature at Virginia Commonwealth University for 30 years. Dr. Woodlief’s site the American Transcendentalism Web is an excellent resource for learning more about this literary movement: here you’ll find original texts, helpful explanations of Transcendentalist ideas, recent scholarly articles, and much more.


If you are a professor or author who has relevant educational materials which you would like to share with our site, please email us.

Click each title below for a detailed description of the study guide.

Introduction to Literature (English 1) 
Literature and Composition (English 2)
American Literature (English 3)
British Literature (English 4)
World Literature (English 5)
The Complete Curriculum: Literature and Writing for Grades 8-12
Handbook for Writers