Walter Jackson Bate

Walter Jackson Bate (1918–1999) was an American literary critic and biographer. He is known for his studies of English literature, particularly his critical biographies of Samuel Johnson and John Keats. Bate's work on Samuel Johnson won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, and his biography of John Keats received the 1964 National Book Award. He was a professor of English at Harvard University and his scholarly contributions have had a significant impact on the study of English literature.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Samuel Johnson

    This biography provides an in-depth look into the life of Samuel Johnson, an 18th-century English writer who contributed greatly to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, and lexicographer. The book explores Johnson's struggles with depression, fear of death, and various physical ailments, as well as his intellectual prowess and his impact on literature. It also delves into his relationships with other notable figures of his time, offering a comprehensive portrait of a complex and influential man.

  2. 2. John Keats

    This book is a comprehensive biography of the English Romantic poet, John Keats. It delves into Keats's life, his relationships, his struggles with illness, and his development as a poet. The author provides a detailed analysis of Keats's poetry and letters, revealing the depth of his passion, his intellectual curiosity, and his commitment to creating poetry that was 'a living thing'. The book also explores the social, political, and cultural context of Keats's life, providing a rich understanding of the man and his work.