Gotta love Drout - such a great teacher. This installment of the Modern Scholar explain poetry very clearly for the uninformed (like me). Best is the explanation of iambic pentameter, meter, etc. The only problem I have is that he devoted almost a whole lecture to John Donne and spent only 4 minutes on Milton - even though the chapter was entitled Milton. But that aside - Drout still rules!
Don't bother with the John Lee version - Joyce is best handled by Jim Norton. Excellent and accessible. In terms of the book itself - I view it as a prerequisite to Ulysses, so a must if you want to get into understanding Joyce and his perspective on Ireland, etc.
The history of washington's life almost defies belief -that a man could be so level headed and constant in his service and his convictions. There is a reason for why so many landmarks are named in his honor.