Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Katherine Lee Bates

American Katherine Lee Bates is most famous as the graduate of Wellesley College who wrote the words to the song “America the Beautiful”.  She was also a poet, who enjoyed, among others, Sir Walter Scott. 

According to the online bio of Ms. Bates from Spinner Publications, ‘…By the time she was eleven years old, she was a precocious, erudite child whose favorite writers were Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, Louisa May, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow….’

And in the author’s own “Home Studies” she writes glowingly on a topic near and dear to Scott’s own heart; dogs.

‘Sigurd was but mildly interested when we told him that in George Eliot's novels there were over fifty dogs, ranging all the way from pug to mastiff, nor did he care greatly for Dickens' dogs, not even blundering, ill-favored, clumsy, "bullet-headed" Diogenes, Florence Dombey's comforter, nor the bandy leader of Jerry's dancing troupe, who, because of a lost half-penny, had to grind out Old Hundred on the barrel-organ while his companions devoured their supper--and his; but Scott's dogs, from fleet Lufra of The Lady of the Lake to the Dandy Dinmonts of Guy Mannering,--"There's auld Pepper and auld Mustard, and young Pepper and young Mustard, and little Pepper and little Mustard"--made him blink and prick up his ears. Thus encouraged, I would tell him of Sir Walter's love for all his home dogs and most of all for the tall stag-hound Maida…’

Katherine Lee Bates died on March 28, 1929.

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