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Selected Letters

John Donne

Edited by P.M. Oliver

No Text
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Categories: 16th Century, 17th Century, Christianity, Christianity
Imprint: Fyfield Books
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (144 pages)
(Pub. Apr 2002)
£12.95 £11.65
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  • 'I am come now not only to pay a fever every half year as a rent for my life, but I am called upon before the day, and they come sooner in the year than heretofore.'
    to Mrs Ann Cockayn, January 1631

    Whether sharing his anxieties about his writing, consoling bereaved friends, complaining about the meanness of a patron or defending himself against malicious gossip, John Donne reveals himself in his letters with a directness that can be found nowhere else in his writings.

    The 95 letters printed here in there entirety - dating from the late 1590s until a short time before Donne's death - constitute approximately half of his surviving correspondence. Addressed to a variety of recipients, they present the author of some of the most enduringly popular English verse as father, son, husband, friend, suitor, courtier and pastor. Although what the letters reveal of Donne is far from edifying, they corroborate the impression created by his better-known writings that he was one of the most remarkable figures produced by the English Renaissance and that he possessed an extraordinarily subtle and creative intelligence.
    Table of Contents


    A Note on the Text

    The Chronology of Donne's Letters


    Appendix A: Glossary of Names

    Appendix B: Further Reading

    Appendix C: Sources of the Letters


    John Donne
    JOHN DONNE developed one of the most distinctive and remarkable poetic voices of the English Renaissance. He also became a leading churchman: having been born and bred a Catholic (his mother was descended from Thomas More), he began asserting his loyalty to the Church of England in his twenties and was ... read more
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