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John Donne in the Nineteenth Century$
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Dayton Haskin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199212422

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212422.001.0001

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A Thinker and a Writer

A Thinker and a Writer

Chapter:
(p.46) 3 A Thinker and a Writer
Source:
John Donne in the Nineteenth Century
Author(s):

Dayton Haskin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212422.003.0003

In the English-speaking world of the 1830s, most readers, if they knew of John Donne at all, knew chiefly about the life portrayed by Izaak Walton: Donne's lineal descent from Sir Thomas More by way of his mother's family, his romantic marriage and its trying aftermath, his reluctance to take holy orders and his eloquence as a preacher, his grief upon the death of his wife, and his holy dying. By the early 1840s the situation was changing. More of Donne's own writing was available in print than at any time since the mid-17th century: almost all the extant sermons, 130 prose letters, nearly one hundred poems, three new editions of the Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, and an unprecedented volume of nearly 300 pages titled Selections from the Works of John Donne, D.D. Interest in Donne began to owe something to a festering impatience with Walton's having cavalierly dismissed the poetry and with his having failed to appreciate Donne as a restless and probing thinker.

Keywords:   John Donne, poetry, prose, Henry Alford, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, sermons, Literary Remains

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