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In Our Time

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John Donne

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Donne (1573-1631), known now as one of England’s finest poets of love and notable in his own time as an astonishing preacher. He was born a Catholic in a Protestant country and, when he married Anne More without her father's knowledge, Donne lost his job in the government circle and fell into a poverty that only ended once he became a priest in the Church of England. As Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, his sermons were celebrated, perhaps none more than his final one in 1631 when he was plainly in his dying days, as if preaching at his own funeral. The image above is from a miniature in the Royal Collection and was painted in 1616 by Isaac Oliver (1565-1617) With Mary Ann Lund Associate Professor in Renaissance English Literature at the University of Leicester Sue Wiseman Professor of Seventeenth Century Literature at Birkbeck, University of London And Hugh Adlington Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham

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