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Hardback:Super-infinite : the transformations of John Donne.:2022 Super-infinite : the transformations of John Donne.
Author: Rundell, Katherine.
Publication year: 2022
Language: English
Media class: Hardback
Classification: 920.DON
Publisher: London : Faber & Faber, 2022.
ISBN: 9780571345915 (hbk.) : 16.99
Sometime religious outsider and social disaster, sometime celebrity preacher and establishment darling, John Donne was incapable of being just one thing. In his myriad lives he was a scholar of law, a sea adventurer, a priest, an MP - and perhaps the greatest love poet in the history of the English language. Along the way he converted from Catholicism to Protestantism, was imprisoned for marrying a sixteen-year old girl without her father's consent; struggled to feed a family of ten children; and was often ill and in pain. He was a man who suffered from black surges of misery, yet expressed in his verse many breathtaking impressions of electric joy and love.
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Paperback:Super-infinite : the transformations of John Donne.:2023.
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224 pages.


Excellent, but in ways I hadn't expected. I was hoping for insight into Donne's poetry, but there is precious little of that. Instead I learned so much about Donne the man, in all his complexity, and learned even more about late 16th and early 17th century England: the power and influence of the Crown, Church and Court; the system of patronage and code of conduct supporting those institutions; the extreme patriarchal nature of society; and, not least, the tenuous hold on life itself for so many, and for women and children in particular through the rigours of childbirth and infancy. All of this the author integrates seamlessly into a compelling narrative that is a joy to read. Highly recommended.
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