This article is awaiting reformatting.
[[Thomas Jefferson]] owned numerous volumes of writings by William Shakespeare, as well as several essays and analysis of Shakespeare's work. Despite a general skepticism regarding works of fiction, Jefferson clearly enjoyed Shakespeare and thought him to be a valuable component of education. In an 1818 letter to Nathaniel Burwell, Jefferson, discussing the merits of educating women, deemed Shakespeare to be one of the few poets whose works were beneficial, rather than detrimental, to education. Shakespeare, according to Jefferson, "may be read with pleasure and improvement."Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Burwell, March 14, 1818, [[Short Title List|Ford]], 10:104. In an earlier letter to Robert Skipwith, Jefferson expressed his opinion that Shakespeare demonstrated the fact that quality fiction could serve to augment the moral lessons found in history. He wrote, "a lively and lasting sense of filial duty is more effectually impressed on the mind of a son or daughter by reading King Lear, than by all the dry volumes of ethics and divinity that ever were written."Thomas Jefferson to Robert Skipwith, 3 August 1771, [[Short Title List|PTJ]], 1:77. Available online
- [[Quotations on Reading]]