Which Harry Potter father figure is your pops?

enotes blog hagrid and harry

Many of us spent some time this Father’s Day contemplating the man who raised us. Who is he really? Find out by answering the most vital question: which father figure from Harry Potter is your dad?

1. Your algebra homework has come to a grinding halt. You do what you always do in times of trouble and go to your dad. He

a. looks at your paper, mumbles something unintelligible, and makes you a large cup of strong tea.
b. explains the whole thing enthusiastically and leaves you more confused than ever but strangely comforted.
c. explains with perfect clarity exactly what has you confused, helps you fix your mistakes, and also resolves that existential crisis you didn’t know he knew you were having.
d. wonders why you’re worrying about this when it’s not due until next week and proposes a rousing game of Mario Kart. Continue Reading ›

Mother’s Day Cards to Famous (and Infamous) Literary Moms

love heart in a book with filter effect retro vintage style

We love our moms, and they love us!

But… more often than not in literature, we see somewhat, er, nontraditional relationships between mothers and their children.

Some of these relationships are too good (or too bad?) not to comment on, so when we started brainstorming our Mother’s Day post, we kept coming back to the idea of the classic Hallmark card with a little twist. Below you’ll find the Mother’s Day card imaginings of famed literary mother-child relationships.

A little bit snarky, and a little bit sweet, we think you’ll find these a real treat. Continue Reading ›

5 Epic Ways to Properly Celebrate Epic Pi Day

eNotes is chock full of nerds, albeit nerds who like to party. So with Epic Pie Day coming up (3/14/15… 3.1415…!) we couldn’t resist wanting to give it proper homage. Here are some ideas we came up with for EPD this Saturday:

1. Epic Pizza Party

When just regular pepperoni won’t slice it for Epic Pie Day, this list does. It includes inspirational creations such as pizza fries, pizza lollipops, Nutella pizza, and ghastly monstrosities such as a McDonald’s Pizza.

Pizza-on-a-Stick Continue Reading ›

Happy Earth Day!

This Earth Day we’re taking inspiration from literature’s greatest nature-lovers, the transcendentalists:

Untitled drawing

Today we celebrate Earth Day, an annual event dedicated to environmental protection. Surprisingly, some of the earliest conservationists in history can be found in American literature. The transcendentalists, whose movement developed during the 1820’s and 30’s, displayed a deep appreciation for the natural world and wrote avidly about their own experiences in nature. So frequently we approach climate change as a monolithic issue, impossible to tackle and incomprehensible in terms of personal philosophy. But perhaps Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman had it right; their steadfast appreciation and attempts at understanding the value of the natural world led them to be ever mindful of their surroundings. If we were to put these ideals into conversation with today’s problems, we may find some distinct similarities, as well as some helpful insight into the philosophical value of nature for mankind.

Continue Reading ›

The Love Lives of Authors

Love is dangerous—best to leave it to the experts.

Spend your Valentine’s Day living vicariously through these writers and their passionate love lives. Because let’s face it, you’d rather be draped in chocolate wrappers than a volatile amour, right? Just me?

v day

Lord Byron


The 6th Baron Byron was a Romantic with a capital ‘R,’ but that doesn’t mean he was particularly gentlemanly. His first partner in scandal, Lady Caroline Lamb, described him aptly when she professed he was “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” Indeed, she was just one of many public conquests that rocked British society, several of which produced children. Only one of these was legitimate, the Honorable Augusta Ada Byron, also known as the co-creator of the first computer, Ada Lovelace. Others, save for a daughter he had with Mary Shelley’s sister, were never proven or recognized by Byron. In essence, he was a cad with a weakness for women, or so we can assume from his poem “Don Juan.” I mean, not even his own half-sister was off-limits to him.

But still some come to his defense. Poet Katha Pollitt excused Byron’s bad boy behavior with an interesting take on his contribution to feminism: “Byron’s great insight, in an era where women were expected to be placid and insipid (not that they were!), was to see that women were much like men: They wanted sex and went after it eagerly, if secretly.”

Continue Reading ›

After the Dash: Ten Literary Epitaphs


It’s Halloween!  In honor of the creepiest of holidays, why not contemplate your own mortality? GOOD TIMES!

Here are ten well-written or interesting conceived final goodbyes from folks (or folks who knew them) who have shuffled off this mortal coil.


1.  William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
[Gravestone in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon]


2.  Edmund Spenser (1510-1596)
Here lyes
(expecting the second Comminge of our Saviour Christ Jesus)
the body of Edmond Spenser, the Prince of Poets in his time;
whose divine spirit needs no other witness
than the works he left behind him.

Continue Reading ›