This selection of John Donne's most powerful prose shows that the man remembered predominantly for his poetry was also a preacher, and a prose writer of extraordinary power. In it, he explores the metaphysical collision between poetry and religion, suicide and duty, the secular and the spiritual that characterized his times.
Edited with an introduction and notes by Neil Rhodes.
John Donne was born into a Catholic family in 1572. After a conventional education at Hart Hall, Oxford and Lincoln's Inn, he took part in the Earl of Essex's expedition to the Azores in 1597. He secretly married Anne More in December 1601 and was imprisoned by her father, Sir George, in the Fleet two months later. He was ordained priest in January 1615 and Dean of St Paul's in London in 1621, a position he held until his death in 1631.
Neil Rhodes was a Scholar of St Catherine's College, Oxford, from 1971 to 1974, and a Lecturer in the Department of English Studies at Strathclyde University from 1977 to 1979. He is the author of Elizabethan Grotesque, and is currently a Professor of the University of St Andrews, a Visiting Professor at the University of Granada, and joint General Editor of the MHRA Tudor and Stuart Translations.