By Dayton Haskin
In 1906, having been assigned Izaak Walton's Life of Donne to learn for his English category, a Harvard freshman heard a lecture at the lengthy disparaged ''metaphysical'' poets. Years later, whilst an appreciation of those poets used to be thought of a consummate mark of a modernist sensibility, T. S. Eliot was once regularly credited with having 'discovered' Donne himself. John Donne within the 19th Century tracks the myriad ways that ''Donne'' was once lodged in literary tradition within the Romantic and Victorian sessions. The early chapters record a primary revival of curiosity while Walton's Life used to be acknowledged to be ''in the palms of each reader''; they discover what Wordsworth and Coleridge contributed to the stipulations for the 1839 ebook of the one variation ever referred to as The Works, which reprinted the sermons of ''Dr Donne''. Later chapters hint a moment revival, whilst admirers of the biography, turning to the prose letters and the poems to complement Walton, chanced on that his hero's writings entail the kinds of debatable matters which are raised by way of Browning, through the 'fleshly tuition' of poets, and via self-consciously ''decadent'' writers of the fin de siГЁcle. the ultimate chapters deal with the unfold of the tutorial research of Donne from Harvard, the place already within the Eighties he used to be the anchor of the seventeenth-century path, to different associations and past the academy, displaying that Donne's prestige as a author eclipsed his significance because the topic of Walton's narrative, which Leslie Stephen facetiously known as ''the masterpiece of English biography''.
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Additional resources for John Donne in the Nineteenth Century
In order for the makers of the projected Volume 1 of the Variorum to write an illuminating account of ‘The Historical Reception of Donne’s Poetry from the Beginnings to the Present’, they will need to be able to rely on a good deal more scholarship of this sort. The drudgework of compiling commentary needs to be superseded by studies that explore the myriad ways in which Donne has been implicated in literary and cultural history. This will require a radically different frame of mind from those with which we have been accustomed to thinking about a variorum.
Paul’s Cathedral (London: John Murray, 1868), 324. ²⁰ [Anna Brownell Murphy Jameson], The Loves of the Poets, 2 vols. (London: Henry Colburn, 1829), ii. 94–5. , Dean of Saint Paul’s, 1621–1631. With a Memoir of His Life, ed. Henry Alford, 6 vols. (London: John W. Parker, 1839). 14 Introduction readers ever are. They held Walton’s Life in regard as a moving narrative without allowing its intellectually lightweight author’s indifference to Donne’s theology and to most of his poetry utterly to curtail their interests.
Robert M. Ryan, The Romantic Reformation: Religious Politics in English Literature, 1789–1824 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997), 18, and 6, respectively. Dr Donne’s Poetical Works 17 power provides a decisive context for understanding the revival of interest in certain of Donne’s writings. It helps to make sense, for instance, of the fact that Charles Lamb and Thomas De Quincey held the Metempsychosis in high regard. It lays bare the reactionary bias of those who thought that by omitting PseudoMartyr from his edition Alford failed to include Donne’s most important work.