H. W. Garrod

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Portrait of Garrod by Irish-Spanish painter Rodrigo Moynihan (1910-1990)

Heathcote William Garrod (1878-1960) was a British classical scholar and literary scholar. He was Fellow of Merton College, Oxford for over 60 years. He was Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1923 to 1928.

From 1929-1930 Garrod was the Charles Eliot Norton professor at Harvard University.

Though the remark is frequently attributed to others more famous, more reliable sources give him as the person who, when accosted by a woman during the First World War asking why he was not with the soldiers fighting to defend civilization, replied: 'Madam, I am the civilization they are fighting to defend'.[1]


  • Statii Thebais et Achilleis (Oxford, 1906) editor (second edition in 1926, reprinted in 1951)
  • Opvs epistolarvm Des Erasmi Roterdami (1906) editor with H. M. Allen
  • The Religion of All Good Men: And Other Studies in Christian Ethics (1906)
  • Manili Astronomicon Liber II (1911)
  • The Oxford Book of Latin Verse (1912)
  • Einhard's Life of Charlemagne (1915) editor with R. B. Mowat
  • Wordsworth: Lectures and Essays (1923)
  • Byron 1824-1924 (1924)
  • The Profession of Poetry, Inaugural Lecture as Professor of Poetry, University of Oxford, 13 February 1924 (1924)
  • Coleridge Poetry and Prose with Essays By Hazlitt, Jeffrey, De Quincey, Carlyle & Others (1925) editor
  • Keats (1926)
  • Merton Muniments (1928) with P. S. Allen
  • The Poetry of Collins (1928) Warton Lecture
  • The Profession of Poetry and other lectures (1929)
  • Poetry and the Criticism of Life (1931)
  • Ancient Painted Glass in Merton College Oxford (1931)
  • Tolstoi's Theory of Art (1935) Taylorian Lecture
  • Opera Flacci, Q. Horati (1941) editor with Edward C. Wickham
  • Epigrams (1946)
  • List of the Writings of H. W. Garrod (1947)
  • John Donne; Poetry and Prose with Izaac Walton's Life. Appreciations By Ben Jonson, Dryden, Coleridge and Others (1948)
  • Genius Loci and other essays (1950)
  • Poetical Works of John Keats (1956)
  • Study of Good Letters (1963)


  • J.A. Smith, The Nature of Art : An Open Letter to the Professor of Poetry in the University of Oxford, Oxford : Oxford University Press (1924)
  • John Jones, "Heathcote William Garrod. 1878-1960," Proceedings of the British Academy 48 (1962) 357-370
  • J. Carey, The Unexpected Professor : An Oxford Life in Books, London : Faber & Faber (2014) 138-42


  1. ^ Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes, eds. Clifton Fadiman & André Bernard (1985; Little, Brown & Co., 2000), 228. Retrieved on 9 December 2009.

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