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Return to Bibliography of Willa Cather's Readings

Bibliography: Commentaries on the Gallic War by Caesar, Julius

Commentaries on the Gallic War
Caesar, Julius
58-44 BC
Note Source
Song of the Lark Part II, Chap. 2; Alexander's Bridge Chap. 3; One of Ours Book V, Chap. 8, 15, 18; The Professor's House Book I, Chap. 10, Book II, Chap. 1; Collected Short Fiction 1892-1912 60; Courier 12/18/1897
Note Relating to Cather

In Song of the Lark, Thea "had been interested in Caesar's 'Commentaries' when she left school to begin teaching, and she loved to read about great generals; but these facts would scarcely explain her wanting that grim bald head ["a photograph of the Naples bust of Julius Caesar"] to share her daily existence."

There are many allusions to Caesar's Commentaries throughout Cather's work. For instance, see Chapter 3 in Alexander's Bridge. In One of Ours, Barclay Owens studies Caesar and he and his fortifications and maps are referred to as Caesar and Caesar's. Tom Outland reads Caesar, also.

In "The Joy of Nellie Dean," the narrator likens Guy Franklin to the merchants in Caesar who brought into Gaul "those things which effeminate the mind." In an article in the Courier, Cather writes about explorer Fridtjof Nansen: "There was something in his terseness and economy of verbiage that recalled the Commentaries of Caesar."