Authors: Donne

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"John Donne," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

The sermons of John Donne, ed. G. R. Potter and E. M. Simpson, 10 vols. (c.1953–1962)

A. J. Smith, ed., John Donne: the critical heritage, 2 vols. (1975–96)

John Donne (1572 - 1631) was one of England's great poets and one of her majesterial homilists. He was grandson to John Heywood, the playwright. Donne attended Oxford, then went on to study law at Lincoln's Inn. He was a soldier, a courtier, and a priest. He famously converted from Roman Catholicism. (His brother Henry was arrested for being a Catholic and died in prison.) In 1601, Donne married Ann More. She is the famous subject of his most moving love poems. Donne became Dean of St. Paul's in London in 1621, and many of his sermons were printed and widely distributed. His incomparable Devotions was published in 1624. His Poems were published in 1630, and were greeted with enthusiastic acclaim. His reputation fell, though, in the later 17th and 18th centuries. It has since recovered. Donne is considered the best of the Metaphysical poets.

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