Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, DL (22 May 1859–7 July 1930) was a British author most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry, and non-fiction.

Arthur Conan Doyle was born on 22 May 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland, to an English father, Charles Altamont Doyle, and an Irish mother, Mary Foley, who had married in 1855. Although he is now referred to as "Conan Doyle", the origin of this compound surname is uncertain.[1] Conan Doyle's father was an artist, as were his paternal uncles (one of whom was Richard Doyle), and his paternal grandfather John Doyle.

Conan Doyle was sent to the Roman Catholic Jesuit preparatory school St Marys Hall, Stonyhurst, at the age of eight. He then went on to Stonyhurst College, but by the time he left the school in 1875, he had rejected Christianity to become an agnostic.

From 1876 to 1881 he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, including a period working in the town of Aston (now a district of Birmingham). While studying, he also began writing short stories; his first published story appeared in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal before he was 20.[2] Following his term at university, he served as a ship's doctor on a voyage to the West African coast, and then in 1882 he set up a practice in Plymouth. He completed his doctorate on the subject of tabes dorsalis in 1885.[3]

In 1882 he took up medical practice in Portsmouth. The practice was initially not very successful; while waiting for patients, he again began writing stories. His first significant work was A Study in Scarlet, which appeared in Beeton's Christmas Annual for 1887 and featured the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes, who was partially modelled after his former university professor, Joseph Bell. Future short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes were published in the English Strand Magazine. Interestingly, Rudyard Kipling congratulated Conan Doyle on his success, asking "Could this be my old friend, Dr. Joe?" Sherlock Holmes, however, was even more closely modelled after the famous Edgar Allan Poe character, C. Auguste Dupin.

While living in Southsea he played football for an amateur side (that disbanded in 1894), Portsmouth Athletic Football Club, and not Portsmouth F.C..

In 1885 he married Louisa (or Louise) Hawkins, known as "Touie", who suffered from tuberculosis and died on July 4, 1906.[4] He married Jean Leckie in 1907, whom he had first met and fallen in love with in 1897 but had maintained a platonic relationship with her out of loyalty to his first wife. Conan Doyle had five children, two with his first wife (Mary Louise (born 1889) and Alleyne Kingsley (1892–1918)) and three with his second wife (Jean Lena Annette, Denis Percy Stewart (March 17, 1909–March 9, 1955), second husband in 1936 of Georgian Princess Nina Mdivani (circa 1910–February 19, 1987) (former sister-in-law of Barbara Hutton), and Adrian Malcolm).

Portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Sidney Paget, 1897.In 1890 Conan Doyle studied the eye in Vienna; he moved to London in 1891 to set up a practice as an ophthalmologist. He wrote in his autobiography that not a single patient crossed his door. This gave him more time for writing, and in November 1891 he wrote to his mother: "I think of slaying Holmes... and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things." His mother responded, saying, "You may do what you deem fit, but the crowds will not take this lightheartedly." In December 1893, he did so in order to dedicate more of his time to more "important" works (his historical novels).

Holmes and Moriarty apparently plunged to their deaths together down a waterfall in the story, "The Final Problem". Public outcry led him to bring the character back; Conan Doyle returned to the story in "The Adventure of the Empty House", with the explanation that only Moriarty had fallen but, since Holmes had other dangerous enemies, he had arranged to be temporarily "dead" also. Holmes ultimately appears in a total of 56 short stories and four Conan Doyle novels (he has since appeared in many novels and stories by other authors).

Following the Boer War in South Africa at the turn of the 20th century and the condemnation from around the world over the United Kingdom's conduct, Conan Doyle wrote a short pamphlet titled, The War in South Africa: Its Cause and Conduct, which justified the UK's role in the Boer war, and was widely translated.

Conan Doyle believed that it was this pamphlet that resulted in 1902 in his being knighted and appointed Deputy-Lieutenant of Surrey. He also in 1900 wrote the longer book, The Great Boer War. During the early years of the 20th century, Sir Arthur twice ran for Parliament as a Liberal Unionist, once in Edinburgh and once in the Hawick Burghs, but although he received a respectable vote he was not elected.

Arthur Conan Doyle statue in Crowborough.Conan Doyle was involved in the campaign for the reform of the Congo Free State, led by the journalist E. D. Morel and the diplomat Roger Casement. He wrote The Crime of the Congo in 1909, a long pamphlet in which he denounced the horrors in that country. He became acquainted with Morel and Casement, taking inspiration from them for two of the main characters in the novel, The Lost World (1912).

He broke with both when Morel became one of the leaders of the pacifist movement during the First World War, and when Casement committed treason against the UK during the Easter Rising out of conviction for his Irish nationalist views. Conan Doyle tried, unsuccessfully, to save Casement from the death penalty, arguing that he had been driven mad and was not responsible for his actions.

Conan Doyle was also a fervent advocate of justice, and personally investigated two closed cases, which led to two imprisoned men being released. The first case, in 1906, involved a shy half-British, half-Indian lawyer named George Edalji, who had allegedly penned threatening letters and mutilated animals. Police were set on Edalji's conviction, even though the mutilations continued after their suspect was jailed.

It was partially as a result of this case that the Court of Criminal Appeal was established in 1907, so not only did Conan Doyle help George Edalji, his work helped establish a way to correct other miscarriages of justice. The story of Conan Doyle and Edalji is told in fictional form in Julian Barnes' 2005 novel, Arthur & George.

The second case, that of Oscar Slater, a German Jew and gambling-den operator convicted of bludgeoning an 82-year-old woman in Glasgow in 1908, excited Conan Doyle's curiosity because of inconsistencies in the prosecution case and a general sense that Slater was framed.

After the death of his wife Louisa in 1906, and the deaths of his son Kingsley, his brother Innes, his two brothers-in-law, and his two nephews shortly after World War I, Conan Doyle sank into depression. He found solace supporting Spiritualism and its alleged scientific proof of existence beyond the grave.

According to the History Channel program Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery (which briefly explored the friendship between the two), Conan Doyle became involved with Spiritualism after the deaths of his son and his brother. Kingsley Doyle died from pneumonia on October 28, 1918, which he contracted during his convalescence after being seriously wounded during the 1916 Battle of the Somme. Brigadier-General Innes Doyle died in February 1919, also from pneumonia. Sir Arthur became involved with Spiritualism to the extent that he wrote a Professor Challenger novel on the subject, The Land of Mist.

His book, The Coming of the Fairies (1921) shows he was apparently convinced of the veracity of the Cottingley Fairies photographs, which he reproduced in the book, together with theories about the nature and existence of fairies and spirits.

In his The History of Spiritualism (1926) Conan Doyle praised the psychic phenomena and spirit materialisations produced by Eusapia Palladino and Mina "Margery" Crandon.[5]

His work on this topic was one of the reasons that one of his short story collections, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, was banned in the Soviet Union in 1929 for supposed occultism. This ban was later lifted. Russian actor Vasily Livanov later received an Order of the British Empire for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.

Conan Doyle was friends for a time with the American magician Harry Houdini, who himself became a prominent opponent of the Spiritualist movement in the 1920s following the death of his beloved mother. Although Houdini insisted that Spiritualist mediums employed trickery (and consistently attempted to expose them as frauds), Conan Doyle became convinced that Houdini himself possessed supernatural powers, a view expressed in Conan Doyle's The Edge of the Unknown. Houdini was apparently unable to convince Conan Doyle that his feats were simply magic tricks, leading to a bitter public falling out between the two.[5]

Arthur Conan Doyle's house in South Norwood, LondonRichard Milner, an American historian of science, has presented a case that Conan Doyle may have been the perpetrator of the Piltdown Man hoax of 1912, creating the counterfeit hominid fossil that fooled the scientific world for over 40 years. Milner says that Conan Doyle had a motive, namely revenge on the scientific establishment for debunking one of his favourite psychics, and that The Lost World contains several encrypted clues regarding his involvement in the hoax.[6]

Samuel Rosenberg's 1974 book Naked is the Best Disguise purports to explain how Conan Doyle left, throughout his writings, open clues that related to hidden and suppressed aspects of his mentality.

Conan Doyle was found clutching his chest in the family garden on July 7, 1930. He soon died of his heart attack, aged 71, and is buried in the Church Yard at Minstead in the New Forest, Hampshire, England. His last words were directed toward his wife: "You are wonderful." The epitaph on his gravestone reads:


Undershaw, the home Conan Doyle had built near Hindhead, south of London, and lived in for at least a decade, was a hotel and restaurant from 1924 until 2004. It was then bought by a developer, and has been empty since then while conservationists and Conan Doyle fans fight to preserve it.[4]

A statue honours Conan Doyle at Crowborough Cross in Crowborough, East Sussex, England, where Sir Arthur lived for 23 years. There is also a statue of Sherlock Holmes in Picardy Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, close to the house where Conan Doyle was born.

[edit] Bibliography

Grave of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at Minstead, England
[edit] Holmes books
Main article: Canon of Sherlock Holmes
A Study in Scarlet (1887)
The Sign of Four (1890)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892)
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1904)
The Valley of Fear (1914)
His Last Bow (1917)
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927)

[edit] Challenger stories
The Lost World (1912)[7]
The Poison Belt (1913)[7]
The Land of Mist (1926)[7]
The Disintegration Machine (1927)
When the World Screamed (1928)

[edit] Historical novels
Micah Clarke (1888)
The White Company (1891)
The Great Shadow (1892)
The Refugees (publ. 1893, written 1892)
Rodney Stone (1896)
Uncle Bernac (1897)
Sir Nigel (1906)
The British Campaign in France and Flanders: 1914 (1916)

[edit] Other works
"J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement" (1884), a story based on the fate of the ship Mary Celeste
The Mystery of Cloomber (1889)
The Firm of Girdlestone (1890)
The Captain of the Polestar, and other tales (1890)
The Great Keinplatz Experiment (1890)[7]
The Doings Of Raffles Haw (1891)[7]
Beyond the City (1892)
Jane Annie, or the Good Conduct Prize (1893)
My Friend the Murderer and Other Mysteries and Adventures (1893)[7]
Round The Red Lamp (1894)[7]
The Parasite (1894)[7]
The Stark Munro Letters (1895)
Songs of Action (1898)
The Tragedy of The Korosko (1898)
A Duet (1899)
The Great Boer War (1900)
The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard (1903)
Through the Magic Door (1907)
Round the Fire Stories (1908)[7]
The Crime of the Congo (1909)
The Lost Gallery (1911)[7]
The Terror of Blue John Gap (1912)
Danger! and Other Stories (1918)[7]
The New Revelation (1918)
The Horror of the Heights (1918)
The Vital Message (1919)
Tales of Terror & Mystery (1923)
The Black Doctor and Other Tales of Terror and Mystery (1925)[7]
The Dealings of Captain Sharkey (1925)[7]
The Man from Archangel and Other Tales of Adventure (1925)[7]
The History of Spiritualism (1926)
The Maracot Deep (1929)[7]

[edit] See also
The Toronto Public Library has an extensive collection of Arthur Conan Doyle's works.
William Gillette Personal friend. Performed the most famous stage-version of Sherlock Holmes.
American horror writers Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski feature Arthur Conan Doyle as a protagonist in their fictional “The Menagerie” series.

[edit] Notes and references
^ One source says that the name originated from his great-uncle Michael Conan, a distinguished journalist, from whom Arthur and his elder sister, Annette, received the compound surname of "Conan Doyle" (Stashower, Daniel (2000). Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle. Penguin Books. ISBN 0805050744. ). The same source points out that in 1885 he was describing himself on the brass nameplate outside his house, and on his doctoral thesis, as "A. Conan Doyle". However, other sources (such as the 1901 census) indicate that Conan Doyle's surname was "Doyle", and that the form "Conan Doyle" was only used as a surname in his later years.
^ Stashower. Teller of Tales.
^ Available at the Edinburgh Research Archive.
^ a b Leeman, Sue, "Sherlock Holmes fans hope to save Conan Doyle's house from developers", Associated Press, 28 July 2006.
^ a b Kalush, William, and Larry Sloman, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero, Atria Books, 2006. ISBN 0743272072.
^ Highfield, Roger, "The mysterious case of Conan Doyle and Piltdown Man.", The Daily Telegraph, Thursday 20 March 1997.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Bibliographic information from: Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers, 102.

Daphne du Maurier

Daphne, Lady Browning DBE (13 May 1907–19 April 1989), commonly known as Dame Daphne du Maurier (IPA: [ˈdæfnɪ du ˈmɒɹieɪ]), was a famous British novelist best known for her short story "The Birds" and her classic novel Rebecca, published in 1938. Both were adapted into films by Alfred Hitchcock, Rebecca winning the Oscar for Best Picture.

Personal life
Du Maurier was born in London (although spending most of her life in her beloved Cornwall), the second of three daughters of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and actress Muriel Beaumont (maternal niece of William Comyns Beaumont).[1] Her grandfather was the author and Punch cartoonist, George du Maurier who created the character of Svengali in the novel Trilby. These connections gave her a head start in her literary career; Beaumont published some of her very early work in his Bystander magazine, and her first novel, The Loving Spirit was published in 1931. Du Maurier was also the cousin of the Llewelyn-Davies boys (George, Jack, Peter, Michael, and Nicholas), who are known for serving as J.M. Barrie's inspiration for the play Peter Pan. As a young child she was introduced to many of the brightest stars of the theatre thanks to the celebrity of her father; notably, on meeting Tallulah Bankhead she was quoted as saying that the actress was the most beautiful creature she had ever seen.

She married Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick "Boy" Browning and had two daughters and a son (Tessa, Flavia and Christian). Biographers have drawn attention to the fact that the marriage was at times somewhat chilly and that du Maurier could be aloof and distant to her children, especially the girls, when immersed in her writing.[2] However, as a product of well-to-do Edwardian society in which the nanny dealt with the children, this is hardly surprising.

Indeed, she has often been painted as a frostily private recluse who rarely mixed in society or gave interviews.[3] A notable exception to this came after the release of the film A Bridge Too Far in which her late husband was portrayed in a less-than-flattering light. Du Maurier was incensed and wrote to the national newspapers decrying what she considered unforgivable treatment.[4] Once out of the glare of the public spotlight, however, many remembered her as a warm and immensely funny person who was a welcoming hostess to guests Menabilly,[5] the house she leased for many years (from the Rashleigh family) in Cornwall.

After her death, numerous references were made to her alleged lesbianism; an affair with Gertrude Lawrence as well as her infatuation for the wife of her American publisher, Ellen Doubleday, were cited.[6] Du Maurier stated in her memoirs that her father had wanted a son and being a tomboy, she had naturally wished to have been born a boy. However, this is perhaps too simplistic an explanation: a childhood brought into contact with the theatrical and artistic people of her parents' circle, many of whom were homosexual, should have meant for a liberal atmosphere. Yet strangely for a man in his profession, her father was vociferously homophobic.[7] For a daughter who virtually worshipped her father, this was bound to have major repercussions in later life; guilt, shame and an instilled belief that homosexuality was utterly abhorrent could not have helped her form rational conclusions to her own doubts and anxieties.[8] In letters released to her official biographer after her death, du Maurier explained to a trusted few her own unique slant on her sexuality; her personality, she informs, comprises two distinct people: the loving wife and mother (the side she shows to the world) and the lover, a decidedly male energy, hidden to virtually everyone and the power behind her artistic creativity. [9]

This appears somewhat contrived by today's standards; a desperate explaining-away of deeply troubling feelings that she battled with all her life and an avoidance of the truth[citation needed]. Yet du Maurier undoubtedly believed this was the case; this was the demon which fueled her creative life as a writer.[10] One can best try to understand this if one looks to those novels such as The Scapegoat or The House on the Strand, written in the first person and as men, and being utterly convincing.

[edit] Titles
Daphne du Maurier was also referred to as the following:

Dame Daphne du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier, DBE
Lady Browning
In the Queen's Birthday Honours List for June 1969, Daphne du Maurier was created a Dame of the British Empire. She never used the title and according to her biographer Margaret Forster (Daphne du Maurier, Chatto and Windus, 1993, ISBN 0701136995), she told no-one about the honour. Even her children learned of it from the newspapers.

"She thought of pleading illness for the investiture, until her children insisted it would be a great day for the older grandchildren. So she went through with it, though she slipped out quietly afterwards to avoid the attention of the press" (page 370).

[edit] Novels and short stories
Literary critics have sometimes berated du Maurier's works for not being "intellectually heavyweight" like those of George Eliot or Iris Murdoch, but to fully understand her importance in English literature one must look first to the era in which she wrote. At the onset of her career, with the horrors of the First World War still a fresh memory and the storm-clouds of the Second World War rumbling on the horizon, her novels offered much-needed glamour, romanticism and above all, escapism. But by the 1950s, when the socially and politically critical "angry young men" were in vogue, her writing was felt by some to belong to a bygone age of fiction. Today she has been reappraised as a first-rate storyteller, a mistress of suspense: her ability to recreate a sense of place is much admired, and her work remains popular worldwide. For several decades she was the number one author for library book borrowings.[citation needed]

The novel Rebecca, which has been adapted for stage and screen on several occasions, is generally regarded as her masterpiece. One of her strongest influences here was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Her fascination with the Brontë family is also apparent in The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë, her biography of the troubled elder brother to the Brontë girls. The fact that their mother had been Cornish no doubt added to her interest.

Other notable works include The Scapegoat, The House on the Strand, and The King's General. The latter is set in the middle of the first and second English Civil Wars. Though written from the Royalist perspective of her native Cornwall, it gives a fairly neutral view of this period of history and is written with a great flair for that era.

In addition to Rebecca, several of her other novels have been adapted for the screen, including Jamaica Inn, Frenchman's Creek, Hungry Hill and My Cousin Rachel (1951). The Hitchcock film The Birds (1963) is based on a treatment of one of her short stories, as is the film Don't Look Now (1973). Of the films, du Maurier often complained that the only ones she liked were Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. Hitchcock's treatment of Jamaica Inn involved a complete re-write of the ending in order to accommodate the ego of its star, Charles Laughton. Du Maurier also felt that Olivia de Havilland was totally wrong as the (anti-)heroine in My Cousin Rachel.[11] Frenchman's Creek fared rather better with its lavish Technicolor sets and costumes, though du Maurier later regretted her choice of Alec Guinness as the lead in the film of The Scapegoat which she partly financed.[12]

Du Maurier was often categorised as a "romantic novelist" (a term she deplored),[13] though most of her novels, with the notable exception of Frenchman's Creek, are quite different from the stereotypical format of a Georgette Heyer or Barbara Cartland novel. Du Maurier's novels rarely have a happy ending, and her brand of romanticism is often at odds with the sinister overtones and shadows of the paranormal she so favoured. In this light, she has more in common with the "sensation novels" of Wilkie Collins et al., which she admired.[14]

Indeed, it was in her short stories that she was able to give free rein to the harrowing and terrifying side of her imagination; "The Birds", Don't Look Now, The Apple Tree and The Blue Lenses are exquisitely crafted tales of terror which shocked and surprised her audience in equal measure. Perhaps more than at any other time, du Maurier was anxious as to how her bold new writing style would be received, not just with her readers (and to some extent her critics, though by then she had grown wearily accustomed to their often luke-warm reviews) but her immediate circle of family and friends.

In later life she wrote non-fiction, including several biographies which were well-received. This no doubt came from a deep-rooted desire to be accepted as a serious writer, comparing herself to her close literary neighbour, A. L. Rowse, the celebrated historian and essayist, who lived a few miles away from her house near Fowey.

Also of interest are the "family" novels/biographies which du Maurier wrote of her own ancestry, of which Gerald, the biography of her father, was most lauded. Later she wrote The Glass-Blowers, which traces her French ancestry and gives a vivid depiction of the French Revolution. The du Mauriers is a sequel of sorts, describing the somewhat problematic ways in which the family moved from France to England in the 19th century and finally Mary Anne, a novel based on the life of a notable, and infamous, English ancestor—her great-grandmother Mary Anne Clarke, former mistress of Frederick, Duke of York.

Her final novels reveal just how far her writing style had evolved; The House on the Strand (1969) combines elements of "mental time-travel", a tragic love-affair in 14th century Cornwall, and the dangers of using mind-altering drugs. Her final novel, Rule Britannia, written post-Vietnam, plays with the resentment of English people in general and Cornish people in particular at the increasing dominance of the USA.

She died at the age of 81 at her home in Cornwall, the region which had been the setting for many of her books. In accordance with her wishes, her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered on the cliffs near her home.

In late 2006 a previously unknown work titled And His Letters Grew Colder was discovered. This was estimated to have been written in the late 1920s, and takes the form of a series of letters tracing an adulterous passionate affair from initial ardour to deflated acrimony.

[edit] Plays
Du Maurier wrote three plays. Her first was a successful adaptation of her novel Rebecca, which opened at the Queen's Theatre in London on 5 March 1940 in a production by George Devine, starring Celia Johnson and Owen Nares as the De Winters, and Margaret Rutherford as Mrs. Danvers. At the end of May, following a run of 181 performances, the production transferred to the Strand Theatre, with Jill Furse taking over as Mrs. De Winter and Mary Merrall as Danvers, with a further run of 176 performances.

In the summer of 1943 she began writing the autobiographically-inspired drama The Years Between about the unexpected return of a senior officer, thought killed in action, who finds that his wife has taken over his role as Member of Parliament as well as starting a romantic relationship with a local farmer. It was first staged at the Manchester Opera House in 1944, then transferred to London, opening at Wyndham's Theatre on 10 January 1945 starring Nora Swinburne and Clive Brook. The production, directed by Irene Hentschel became a long-running hit, completing 617 performances.

After 60 years of neglect the play was revived by Caroline Smith at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond upon Thames on 5 September 2007, starring Karen Ascoe and Mark Tandy.[15]

Better known is her third play, September Tide, about a middle-aged woman whose bohemian artist son-in-law falls for her. The central character of Stella was originally based on Ellen Doubleday and was merely what Ellen might have been in an English setting and in a different set of circumstances. Again directed by Irene Hentschel, it opened at the Aldwych Theatre on 15 December 1948 with Gertrude Lawrence as Stella, enjoying a run of 267 performances before closing at the beginning of August 1949. It was to lead to a close personal and social relationship between Daphne and Gertrude.

Since then September Tide has received occasional revivals, most recently at the Comedy Theatre in London in January 1994, starring film and stage actress Susannah York in the role originally created by Lawrence, with Michael Praed as the saturnine young artist. Reviewing the production for the Richmond & Twickenham Times, critic John Thaxter wrote: "The play and performances delicately explore their developing relationship. And as the September gales batter the Cornish coast, isolating Stella's cottage from the outside world, she surrenders herself to the truth of a moment of unconventional tenderness."

[edit] Publications

[edit] Fiction
The Loving Spirit (1931)
I'll Never Be Young Again (1932)
Julius (1933)
Jamaica Inn (1936)
Rebecca (1938)
Rebecca (1940) (play—du Maurier's own stage adaptation of her novel)
Happy Christmas (1940) (short story)
Come Wind, Come Weather (1940) (short story collection)
Frenchman's Creek (1941)
Hungry Hill (1943)
The Years Between (1945) (play)
The King's General (1946)
September Tide (1948) (play)
The Parasites (1949)
My Cousin Rachel (1951)
The Apple Tree (1952) (short story collection)
The Scapegoat (1957)
Early Stories (1959) (short story collection, stories written between 1927–1930[16])
The Breaking Point (1959) (short story collection, AKA The Blue Lenses)
Castle Dor (1961) (with Sir Alfred Quiller-Couch[17])
The Birds and Other Stories (1963) (republication of The Apple Tree[18])
The Flight of the Falcon (1965)
The House on the Strand (1969)
Not After Midnight (1971) (short story collection, AKA Don't Look Now[19])
Rule Britannia (1972)

[edit] Non-fiction
Gerald (1934)
The du Mauriers (1937)
The Young George du Maurier (1951)
Mary Anne (1954)
The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë (1960)
The Glass-Blowers (1963)
Vanishing Cornwall (1967)
Golden Lads (1975)
The Winding Stairs (1976)
Growing Pains—the Shaping of a Writer (1977) (AKA Myself When Young—the Shaping of a Writer)
Enchanted Cornwall (1989)

[edit] Trivia
Trivia sections are discouraged under Wikipedia guidelines.
The article could be improved by integrating relevant items and removing inappropriate ones.

Du Maurier was a member of the Cornish nationalist pressure group/political party Mebyon Kernow.
In Ken Follett's thriller The Key to Rebecca, du Maurier's novel Rebecca is used as the key for a code used by a German spy in World War II Cairo.
Neville Chamberlain is reputed to have read Rebecca on the plane journey which led to Adolf Hitler signing the Munich Agreement.
The central character of her last novel, Rule Britannia, is an aging and eccentric actress who was based on Gertrude Lawrence and Gladys Cooper (to whom it is dedicated). However, the character is most recognisably du Maurier herself.
Du Maurier's novel Mary Anne (1954) is a fictionalised account of the real-life story of her great-great grandmother, Mary Anne Clarke née Thompson (1776-1852). Mary Anne Clarke from 1803 to 1808 was mistress of Frederick Augustus, the Duke of York and Albany (1763-1827). He was the "Grand Old Duke of York" of the nursery rhyme, a son of King George III and brother of the later King George IV.
Du Maurier was spoofed by her slightly older fellow writer P.G. Wodehouse as "Daphne Dolores Morehead".

[edit] See also
The Queen's Book of the Red Cross

Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy (born December 23, 1955) is a British poet, playwright and freelance writer born in Glasgow, Scotland. She grew up in Staffordshire and graduated in philosophy from Liverpool University in 1977. Carol Ann Duffy was awarded an OBE in 1995, and a CBE in 2002. She now lives in Manchester with her daughter Ella (born 1995) whose father is the writer Peter Benson. She used to live with her partner, the poet Jackie Kay, but they separated in late 2004.

Carol Ann Duffy was born to Frank Duffy and May Black in Glasgow as the eldest child of the family, and has four brothers. She moved to Staffordshire at the age of four. Her father worked as a fitter for English Electric, stood as a parliamentary candidate for the Labour party and managed Stafford football club in his spare time. Raised Catholic, she was educated at Saint Austin Roman Catholic Primary School, St. Joseph's Convent School and Stafford Girls' High School. She was a passionate reader from an early age, and she always wanted to be a writer. Duffy dispensed with religion aged fifteen, when her convent school became an old people's home. However, she says,"Poetry and prayer are very similar...I write quite a lot of sonnets and I think of them almost as prayers: short and memorable, something you can recite." [1]

At age sixteen, she embarked on a relationship with the thirty-nine year old poet Adrian Henri, and the poem Little Red Cap in her collection The World's Wife is commonly thought to be about their relationship. She chose to study Philosophy at Liverpool University to be near him. Duffy says of Henri, "He gave me confidence, he was great. It was all poetry and sex, very heady, and he was never faithful. He thought poets had a duty to be unfaithful. I’ve never got the hang of that!" She first worked as a game-show and joke writer for Granada Television. From 1982 to 1984, she held a C. Day-Lewis Fellowship, working in east London schools, before becoming a full-time writer and dramatist in 1985.[2]

Characterized by social critique channelled through dramatic monologue, Carol Ann Duffy's poems provide voices for an extraordinary number of contemporary characters, including a fairground psychopath, a literary biographer, a newborn baby, disinherited American Indians, and even a ventriloquist's dummy. Many of the poems reflect on time, change, and loss. In dramatizing scenes of childhood, adolescence, and adult life, whether personal or public, contemporary or historical, she discovers moments of consolation through love, memory, and language. She explores not only everyday experience, but also the rich fantasy life of herself and others.

Of her own writing, Carol Ann Duffy has said,"I'm not interested, as a poet, in words like 'plash' - Seamus Heaney words, interesting words. I like to use simple words but in a complicated way." [3] Singer-composer Eliana Tomkins, whom Duffy collaborated with on a series of live jazz recitals, says "With a lot of artists, the mystique is to baffle their readership. She never does that. Her aim is to communicate." [4]

In her first collection Standing Female Nude (1985) she often uses the voices of outsiders while Selling Manhattan (1987) contains more personal verse. Her later collections are The Other Country (1990), Mean Time (1993) and The World's Wife (1999).

The World's Wife saw her retelling famous stories and fables - Midas, King Kong, Elvis, Anne Hathaway, Salome in a witty collection of poems about women, real or imagined, usually excluded from history.

Her next collection Feminine Gospels (2002) continues this vein, showing an increased interest in long narrative poems, accessible in style and often surreal in their imagery. Her most recent publication, Rapture (2005), is a series of intimate poems charting the course of a love affair, for which she won the £10,000 T.S Eliot poetry prize. In 2007 she published a poetry collection for children entitled The Hat.

She is perhaps one of the few poets in the UK to combine academic integrity with accessibility and popularity. In particular, many British students read her work as she became part of the English Literature syllabus in England and Wales in 1994.

John Mullan wrote of her in the Guardian that

"Over the past decade, Carol Ann Duffy has been the most popular living poet in Britain, her sales greatly helped by the fact that she has succeeded Hughes and Larkin as the most common representative of contemporary poetry in schools (and, it seems, the most commonly read writer of verse after Shakespeare among interviewees for university English courses). There is a suspicion that Duffy, feminist and leftish, reassuringly suits the political preconceptions of many educators, but there are also aspects of her poetry that appeal to English teachers for good practical reasons. Her poems are frequently humorous; they use clear schemes of rhyme and metre; they can be satisfactorily decoded by the diligent close reader."

According to the journalist Katharine Viner,

"Her poems are accessible and entertaining, yet her form is classical, her technique razor-sharp. She is read by people who don't really read poetry, yet she maintains the respect of her peers. Reviewers praise her touching, sensitive, witty evocations of love, loss, dislocation, nostalgia; fans talk of greeting her at readings 'with claps and cheers that would not sound out of place at a pop concert'".

Carol Ann Duffy was a poetry critic for The Guardian (1988-1989), and is the former editor of the poetry magazine Ambit. She is currently a poetry lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Other works
Carol Ann Duffy is also an acclaimed playwright, and has had plays performed at the Liverpool Playhouse and the Almeida Theatre in London. Her plays include Take My Husband (1982), Cavern of Dreams (1984), Little Women, Big Boys (1986) Loss (1986), a radio play and Casanova (2007). She has also adapted Rapture as a radio play[5]. Her children's collections include Meeting Midnight (1999) and The Oldest Girl in the World (2000).

Poet Laureate controversy
Carol Ann Duffy was almost appointed the British Poet Laureate in 1999 (after the death of previous Laureate Ted Hughes), but lost out on the position to Andrew Motion. According to the Sunday Times [6] Downing Street sources stated unofficially that Prime Minister Tony Blair was 'worried about having a homosexual poet laureate because of how it might play in middle England'. Duffy later claimed that she would not have accepted the laureateship anyway, saying in an interview with the Guardian newspaper that 'I will not write a poem for Edward and Sophie. No self-respecting poet should have to.' She says she regards Andrew Motion as a friend and that the idea of a contest between her and him for the post was entirely invented by the newspapers. "I genuinely don't think she even wanted to be poet laureate," said Peter Jay, Duffy's former publisher. "The post can be a poisoned chalice. It is not a role I would wish on anyone - particularly not someone as forthright and uncompromising as Carol Ann." [7]

Fleshweathercock and Other Poems Outposts, 1974
Beauty and the Beast Carol Ann Duffy & Adrian Henri, 1977
Fifth Last Song Headland, 1982
Standing Female Nude Anvil Press Poetry, 1985
Thrown Voices Turret Books, 1986
Selling Manhattan Anvil Press Poetry, 1987
The Other Country Anvil Press Poetry, 1990
I Wouldn't Thank You for a Valentine (editor) Viking, 1992
William and the Ex-Prime Minister Anvil Press Poetry, 1992
Mean Time Anvil Press Poetry, 1993
Anvil New Poets Volume 2 Penguin, 1994
Selected Poems Penguin, 1994
Penguin Modern Poets 2 Penguin, 1995
Grimm Tales Faber and Faber, 1996
Salmon - Carol Ann Duffy: Selected Poems Salmon Poetry, 1996
Stopping for Death (editor) Viking, 1996
More Grimm Tales Faber and Faber, 1997
The Pamphlet Anvil Press Poetry, 1998
Meeting Midnight Faber and Faber, 1999
The World's Wife Anvil Press Poetry, 1999
Time's Tidings: Greeting the 21st Century (editor) Anvil Press Poetry, 1999
The Oldest Girl in the World Faber and Faber, 2000
Hand in Hand (editor) Picador, 2001
Feminine Gospels Picador, 2002
Queen Munch and Queen Nibble (illustrated by Lydia Monks)Macmillan Children's Books, 2002
Underwater Farmyard (illustrated by Joel Stewart)Macmillan Children's Books, 2002
The Good Child's Guide to Rock N Roll Faber and Faber, 2003
Collected Grimm Tales Faber and Faber, 2003
New Selected Poems Picador, 2004
Out of Fashion: An Anthology of Poems (editor) Faber and Faber, 2004 (contemporary poets select their favourite poem, from another time or culture, in connection with clothing)
Overheard on a Saltmarsh: Poets' Favourite Poems (editor) Macmillan, 2004 (30 contemporary poets selected their favourite children's poem to appear alongside one of their own poems; including contemporary poems by Sophie Hannah, Jackie Kay, Valerie Bloom, and Wendy Cope, as well as classic poets such as Robert Burns, John Betjeman and Edward Lear)
Another Night Before Christmas John Murray, 2005
Moon Zoo Macmillan, 2005
Rapture Picador, 2005
The Lost Happy Endings (with Jane Ray) Penguin, 2006

Eric Gregory Award 1984
Scottish Arts Council Book Award (for Standing Female Nude and The Other Country, and again for Mean Time)
Somerset Maugham Award 1988 (for Selling Manhattan)
Dylan Thomas Award 1989
Cholmondeley Award 1992
Whitbread Awards 1993 (for Mean Time)
Forward Prize (for Mean Time)
T S Eliot Prize 2005 (for Rapture)
Forward Prize (for Rapture)
Greenwich Poetry Competition (for Words of Absolution)
Nesta Award 2001
Lannan Award 1995
National Poetry Competition 1st prize, 1983 (for Whoever She Was)
Signal Children's Poetry Prize 1999

"When you have a child, your previous life seems like someone else's. It's like living in a house and suddenly finding a room you didn't know was there, full of treasure and light."
"My prose is turgid, it just hasn't got any energy."
"In the 1970s, when I started on the circuit, I was called a poetess. Older male poets, the Larkin generation, were both incredibly patronising and incredibly randy. If they weren’t patting you on the head, they were patting you on the bum."
"I’m not a lesbian poet, whatever that is. If I am a lesbian icon and a role model, that’s great, but if it is a word that is used to reduce me, then you have to ask why someone would want to reduce me? I never think about it. I don’t care about it. I define myself as a poet and as a mother – that’s all."
"Like the sand and the oyster, it's a creative irritant. In each poem, I'm trying to reveal a truth, so it can't have a fictional beginning."
"Childhood for children yet to be born will be darkened in ways we can't imagine."

Notes and References
^ [1]
^ Carol Ann Duffy
^ Radio play Rapture, performed by Fiona Shaw, with Eliana Tomkins, on BBC Radio Four on 24 July 2007.
^ reported this to be The Sunday Times of May 9, 1999

John Dryden

John Dryden (August 19 [O.S. August 9] 1631 – May 12 [O.S. May 1] 1700) was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator and playwright, who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden.Early life
Dryden was born in the village rectory of Aldwincle near Oundle in Northamptonshire, where his maternal grandfather was Rector of All Saints. He was the eldest of fourteen children born to Erasmus and Mary Dryden, Puritan landowning gentry who supported the Puritan cause and Parliament. As a boy Dryden lived in the nearby village of Titchmarsh where it is also likely that he received his first education. In 1644 he was sent to Westminster School as a King’s Scholar where his headmaster was Dr Richard Busby, a charismatic teacher and severe disciplinarian.[1] Recently enough re-founded by Elizabeth I, Westminster during this period embraced a very different religious and political spirit encouraging royalism and high Anglicanism. Whatever Dryden’s response to this was, he clearly respected the Headmaster and would later send two of his own sons to school at Westminster. Many years after his death a house at Westminster was founded in his name.

As a humanist grammar school, Westminster maintained a curriculum which trained pupils in the art of rhetoric and the presentation of arguments for both sides of a given issue. This is a skill which would remain with Dryden and influence his later writing and thinking, as much of it displays these dialectical patterns. The Westminster curriculum also included weekly translation assignments which developed Dryden’s capacity for assimilation. This was also to be exhibited in his later works. His years at Westminster were not uneventful, and his first published poem, an elegy with a strong royalist feel on the death of his schoolmate Henry, Lord Hastings from smallpox, alludes to the execution of King Charles I, which took place on 30 January 1649.

In 1650 Dryden went up to Trinity College, Cambridge where he would have experienced a return to the religious and political ethos of his childhood. The Master of Trinity was a Puritan preacher by the name of Thomas Hill who had been a rector in Dryden’s home village.[2] Though there is little specific information on Dryden’s undergraduate years, he would have followed the standard curriculum of classics, rhetoric, and mathematics. In 1654 he obtained his BA, graduating top of the list for Trinity that year. In June of the same year Dryden’s father died, leaving him some land which generated a little income, but not enough to live on.[3]

Arriving in London during The Protectorate, Dryden obtained work with Cromwell’s Secretary of State, John Thurloe. This appointment may have been the result of influence exercised on his behalf by the Lord Chamberlain Sir Gilbert Pickering, Dryden’s cousin. Dryden was present on 23 November 1658 at Cromwell’s funeral where he processed with the Puritan poets John Milton and Andrew Marvell. Shortly thereafter he published his first important poem, Heroique Stanzas (1658), a eulogy on Cromwell’s death which is cautious and prudent in its emotional display. In 1660 Dryden celebrated the Restoration of the monarchy and the return of Charles II with Astraea Redux, an authentic royalist panegyric. In this work the interregnum is illustrated as a time of anarchy, and Charles is seen as the restorer of peace and order.

[edit] Later life and career
After the Restoration, Dryden quickly established himself as the leading poet and literary critic of his day and he transferred his allegiances to the new government. Along with Astraea Redux, Dryden welcomed the new regime with two more panegyrics; To His Sacred Majesty: A Panegyric on his Coronation (1662), and To My Lord Chancellor (1662). These poems suggest that Dryden was looking to court a possible patron, but he was to instead make a living in writing for publishers, not for the aristocracy, and thus ultimately for the reading public. These, and his other nondramatic poems, are occasional— that is, they celebrate public events. Thus they are written for the nation rather than the self, and the Poet Laureate (as he would later become) is obliged to write a certain number of these per annum.[4] In November 1662 Dryden was proposed for membership in the Royal Society, and he was elected an early fellow. However, Dryden was inactive in Society affairs and in 1666 was expelled for non-payment of his dues.

On December 1, 1663 Dryden married the royalist sister of Sir Robert Howard — Lady Elizabeth. Dryden’s works occasionally contain outbursts against the married state but also celebrations of the same. Thus, little is known of the intimate side of his marriage. Lady Elizabeth however, was to bear him three sons and outlive him.

With the reopening of the theatres after the Puritan ban, Dryden busied himself with the composition of plays. His first play, The Wild Gallant appeared in 1663 and was not successful, but he was to have more success, and from 1668 on he was contracted to produce three plays a year for the King's Company in which he was also to become a shareholder. During the 1660s and 70s theatrical writing was to be his main source of income. He led the way in Restoration comedy, his best known work being Marriage A-la-Mode (1672), as well as heroic tragedy and regular tragedy, in which his greatest success was All for Love (1678). Dryden was never satisfied with his theatrical writings and frequently suggested that his talents were wasted on unworthy audiences. He thus was making a bid for poetic fame off-stage. In 1667, around the same time his dramatic career began, he published Annus Mirabilis, a lengthy historical poem which described the events of 1666; the English defeat of the Dutch naval fleet and the Great Fire of London. It was a modern epic in pentameter quatrains that established him as the preeminent poet of his generation, and was crucial in his attaining the posts of Poet Laureate (1668) and historiographer royal (1670).

When the Great Plague closed the theatres in 1665 Dryden retreated to Wiltshire where he wrote Of Dramatick Poesie (1668), arguably the best of his unsystematic prefaces and essays. Dryden constantly defended his own literary practice, and Of Dramatick Poesie, the longest of his critical works, takes the form of a dialogue in which four characters – each based on a prominent contemporary, with Dryden himself as ‘Neander’- debate the merits of classical, French and English drama. The greater part of his critical works introduce problems which he is eager to discuss, and show the work of a writer of independent mind who feels strongly about his own ideas, ideas which demonstrate the incredible breadth of his reading. He felt strongly about the relation of the poet to tradition and the creative process, and his best heroic play "Aureng-zebe" (1675) has a prologue which denounces the use of rhyme in serious drama. His play All for Love (1678), was written in blank verse, and was to immediately follow Aureng-Zebe.

Dryden’s greatest achievements were in satiric verse: the mock-heroic MacFlecknoe, a more personal product of his Laureate years, was a lampoon circulated in manuscript and an attack on the playwright Thomas Shadwell. It is not a belittling form of satire, but rather one which makes his object great in ways which are unexpected, transferring the ridiculous into poetry.[5] This line of satire continued with Absalom and Achitophel (1681) and The Medal (1682). His other major works from this period are the religious poems Religio Laici (1682), written from the position of a member of the Church of England; his 1683 edition of Plutarchs Lives Translated From the Greek by Several Hands in which he introduced the word biography to English readers; and The Hind and the Panther, (1687) which celebrates his conversion to Roman Catholicism.

When in 1688 James was deposed, Dryden’s refusal to take the oaths of allegiance to the new government left him out of favour at court. Thomas Shadwell succeeded him as Poet Laureate, and he was forced to give up his public offices and live by the proceeds of his pen. Dryden translated works by Horace, Juvenal, Ovid, Lucretius, and Theocritus, a task which he found far more satisfying than writing for the stage. In 1694 he began work on what would be his most ambitious and defining work as translator, The Works of Virgil (1697), which was published by subscription. The publication of the translation of Virgil was a national event and brought Dryden the sum of ₤1,400.[6] His final translations appeared in the volume Fables Ancient and Modern (1700), a series of episodes from Homer, Ovid, and Boccaccio, as well as modernized adaptations from Geoffrey Chaucer interspersed with Dryden’s own poems. The Preface to Fables is considered to be both a major work of criticism and one of the finest essays in English.[citation needed] As a critic and translator he was essential in making accessible to the reading English public literary works in the classical languages.

Dryden died in 1700 and is buried in Westminster Abbey. He was the subject of various poetic eulogies, such as Luctus Brittannici: or the Tears of the British Muses; for the Death of John Dryden, Esq. (London, 1700), and The Nine Muses.

[edit] Reputation and Influence
Dryden was the dominant literary figure and influence of his age. He established the heroic couplet as the standard meter of English poetry, by writing successful satires, religious pieces, fables, epigrams, compliments, prologues, and plays in it; he also introduced the alexandrine and triplet into the form. In his poems, translations, and criticism, he established a poetic diction appropriate to the heroic couplet -- Auden referred to him as "the master of the middle style"[7] -- that was a model for his contemporaries and for much of the 18th century. The considerable loss felt by the English literary community at his death was evident from the elegies which it inspired.[8] Dryden's heroic couplet became the dominant poetic form of the 18th century. The most influential poet of the 18th century, Alexander Pope, was heavily influenced by Dryden, and often borrowed from him; other writers were equally influenced by Dryden and Pope. Pope famously praised Dryden's versification in his imitation of Horace's Epistle II.i: "Dryden taught to join / The varying pause, the full resounding line, / The long majestic march, and energy divine." Samuel Johnson[9] summed up the general attitude with his remark that "the veneration with which his name is pronounced by every cultivator of English literature, is paid to him as he refined the language, improved the sentiments, and tuned the numbers of English poetry." His poems were very widely read, and are often quoted, for instance, in Tom Jones and Johnson's essays.

Johnson also noted, however, that "He is, therefore, with all his variety of excellence, not often pathetic; and had so little sensibility of the power of effusions purely natural, that he did not esteem them in others. Simplicity gave him no pleasure." The 18th century did not mind this too much, but in later ages, this was increasingly considered a fault.

One of the first attacks on Dryden's reputation was by Wordsworth, who complained that Dryden's descriptions of natural objects in his translations from Virgil were much inferior to the originals. However, several of Wordsworth’s contemporaries, such as George Crabbe, Lord Byron, and Walter Scott (who edited Dryden's works), were still keen admirers of Dryden. Besides, Wordsworth did admire many of Dryden's poems, and his famous "Intimations of Immortality" ode owes something stylistically to Dryden's "Alexander's Feast." John Keats admired the "Fables," and imitated them in his poem Lamia. Later 19th century writers had little use for verse satire, Pope, or Dryden; Matthew Arnold famously dismissed them as "classics of our prose." He did have a committed admirer in George Saintsbury, and was a prominent figure in quotation books such as Bartlett's, but the next major poet to take an interest in Dryden was T.S. Eliot, who wrote that he was 'the ancestor of nearly all that is best in the poetry of the eighteenth century', and that 'we cannot fully enjoy or rightly estimate a hundred years of English poetry unless we fully enjoy Dryden.'[10] However, in the same essay, Eliot accused Dryden of having a "commonplace mind." Critical interest in Dryden has increased recently, but, as a relatively straightforward writer (William Empson, another modern admirer of Dryden, compared his "flat" use of language with Donne's interest in the "echoes and recesses of words"[11]) his work hasn't occasioned as much interest as Andrew Marvell's or John Donne's or Pope's[12]

[edit] Poetic style
What Dryden achieved in his poetry was not the emotional excitement we find in the Romantic poets of the early nineteenth century, nor the intellectual complexities of the metaphysical poets. His subject-matter was often factual, and he aimed at expressing his thoughts in the most precise and concentrated way possible. Although he uses formal poetic structures such as heroic stanzas and heroic couplets, he tried to achieve the rhythms of speech. However, he knew that different subjects need different kinds of verse, and in his preface to Religio Laici he wrote: “...the expressions of a poem designed purely for instruction ought to be plain and natural, yet majestic...The florid, elevated and figurative way is for the passions; for (these) are begotten in the soul by showing the objects out of their true proportion....A man is to be cheated into passion, but to be reasoned into truth.”

[edit] Major works
Astraea Redux, 1660
The Indian Emperor (tragedy), 1665
Annus Mirabilis (poem), 1667
The Enchanted Island (comedy), 1667, an adaptation with William D'Avenant of Shakespeare's The Tempest
An Essay of Dramatick Poesie, 1668
An Evening's Love (comedy), 1669
Tyrannick Love (tragedy), 1669
The Conquest of Granada, 1670
Marriage A-la-Mode, 1672
Aureng-zebe, 1675
All for Love, 1678
Oedipus (heroic drama), 1679, an adaptation with Nathaniel Lee of Sophocles' Oedipus
Absalom and Achitophel, 1681
MacFlecknoe, 1682
The Medal, 1682
Religio Laici, 1682
The Hind and the Panther, 1687
Amphitryon, 1690
Don Sebastian, 1690
Amboyna, or the Cruelties of the Dutch to the English Merchants, 1673
The Works of Virgil, 1697
Fables, Ancient and Modern 1700

[edit] Modern Dedications and References in Media
John Dryden Public School in Whitby, Ontario was named after him.[1]
Although not appearing as a character, Dryden was referred to several times through the 2004 film The Libertine, which was about John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester. In the film, Wilmot and his "chums" (fellow dramatist George Etheridge and the poet Charles Sackville) refer to Dryden several times, alluding to his extensive fame and influence resulting from his exemplary and hugely popular works of the time.

[edit] Select bibliography

The Works of John Dryden, 20 vols., ed. H. T. Swedenberg Jr. et al., (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1956-2002)
John Dryden The Major Works, ed. by Keith Walker, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987)
The works of John Dryden, ed. by David Marriott, (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 1995)
John Dryden Selected Poems, ed by David Hopkins, (London: Everyman Paperbacks, 1998)

Winn, James Anderson. John Dryden and His World, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987)
Modern criticism

Eliot, T.S., ‘John Dryden’, in Selected Essays, (London: Faber and Faber, 1932)
Hopkins, David, John Dryden, ed. by Isobel Armstrong, (Tavistock: Northcote House Publishers, 2004)

[edit] References
^ Hopkins, David, John Dryden, ed. by Isobel Armstrong, (Tavistock: Northcote House Publishers, 2004), 22
^ John Dryden The Major Works, ed. by Keith Walker, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987),ix-x
^ Ibid, x
^ Abrams, M.H., and Stephen Greenblatt eds. ‘John Dryden’ in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 7th ed., (New York: Norton & Co, 2000), 2071
^ Eliot, T.S., ‘John Dryden’, in Selected Essays, (London: Faber and Faber, 1932), 308
^ John Dryden The Major Works, ed. by Keith Walker, xiv
^ W. H. Auden, New Year Letter, in Collected Poems
^ John Dryden The Major Works, 37
^ Dryden, in Samuel Johnson, The Major Works (ed. Donald Greene), 707
^ Eliot, T.S., ‘John Dryden’, 305-6
^ Seven Types of Ambiguity, Chapter 7
^ Robert M. Adams, "The Case for Dryden," New York Review of Books March 17, 1988

Lord Alfred Douglas

Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas (22 October 1870 – 20 March 1945) was a poet, a translator and a prose writer, better known as the intimate friend and lover of the writer Oscar Wilde. Much of his early poetry was Uranian in theme, though he tended, later in life, to distance himself from both Wilde's influence and his own role as a Uranian poet.

Early life
The third son of John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry and his first wife, the former Sibyl Montgomery, Douglas was born at Ham Hill House in Worcestershire. He was his mother's favourite child; she called him Bosie (a derivative of Boysie), a nickname which stuck for the rest of his life.

Douglas was educated at Winchester College (1884–88) and at Magdalen College, Oxford (1889–93), which he left without obtaining a degree. At Oxford, Douglas edited an undergraduate journal The Spirit Lamp (1892-3), an activity that intensified the ongoing conflict between him and his father. Their relationship had always been a strained one and during the Queensberry-Wilde feud, Douglas sided with Wilde, even encouraging him to prosecute his own father for libel. In 1893, Douglas had a brief affair with George Ives.

[edit] Relationship with Oscar Wilde
In 1891, Douglas met Oscar Wilde; they soon began an affair, though, according to Douglas, they never engaged in sodomy. Though Douglas consented to be the lover of the older Wilde, he shared Wilde's interest in younger partners.[1] Of the two, Douglas was known for preferring schoolboys, while Wilde liked older teenagers and young men.[2] When his father, Lord Queensberry, suspected that their liaison may have been more than a friendship, he began a public persecution of Wilde. In addition to invading the playwright's home, Queensberry planned to throw rotten vegetables at Wilde during the premiere of The Importance of Being Earnest. In 1894, the Robert Hichens novel The Green Carnation was published. Said to be based on the relationship of Wilde and Douglas, it would be one of the texts used against Wilde during his trials in 1895.

When Lord Drumlanrig (Douglas' eldest brother and the heir to the marquessate of Queensberry) died in a suspicious hunting accident, rumours circulated that Drumlanrig had been having a homosexual relationship with the Prime Minister, Lord Rosebery. As a result, Lord Queensberry began a crusade to save his youngest son. Queensberry publicly insulted Wilde by leaving, at the latter's club, a calling card on which he had written: "For Oscar Wilde posing as a somdomite" (a misspelling of sodomite).

[edit] 1895 trials
In response to this card, and with Douglas's avid support, but against the advice of friends such as Robert Ross, Frank Harris, and George Bernard Shaw, Wilde sued Queensberry for criminal libel. The case went badly, since Queensberry had hired private detectives to document Wilde's and Douglas's homosexual contacts. Several male prostitutes were enlisted by the defence to give evidence against Wilde and, on advice from his lawyer, he dropped the suit. However, based on evidence raised during the case, Wilde was charged with committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons, a charge which covered all homosexual acts, public or private. Douglas's 1892 poem "Two Loves", which was used against Wilde at the latter's trial, ends with the famous line that refers to homosexuality as "the love that dare not speak its name".

After a retrial (the jury in his first trial having been unable to reach a verdict), Wilde was convicted on 25 May 1895 and imprisoned at hard labour for two years. Douglas was forced into exile in Europe. Following Wilde's release (19 May 1897), although not immediately, the two reunited in August at Rouen, but stayed together only a few months owing to personal differences and the various pressures on them.

[edit] Naples and Paris
This meeting was disapproved of by the friends and families of both men. During the later part of 1897, Wilde and Douglas lived together near Naples, but for financial and other reasons, they separated. Wilde lived the remainder of his life primarily in Paris, and Douglas returned to England in late 1898.

The period when the two men lived in Naples would later become quite controversial. Wilde claimed that Douglas had offered a home, but had no funds or ideas. When Douglas eventually did gain funds from his late father's estate, he refused to grant Wilde a permanent allowance, although he did give him occasional handouts. When Wilde died in 1900, he was relatively impoverished. Douglas served as chief mourner, although there reportedly was an altercation at the gravesite between him and Robert Ross. This struggle would preview the later litigations between the two former lovers of Oscar Wilde.

[edit] Marriage
After Wilde's death, Douglas established a close friendship with Olive Eleanor Custance, an heiress and poet. They married on 4 March 1902 and had one son, Raymond Wilfred Sholto Douglas (Nov 17, 1902 - Oct 10, 1964).

In 1911 Douglas converted to Roman Catholicism.

[edit] Libel actions
Douglas started his "litigious and libellous career" (Murray p152) by obtaining an apology and fifty guineas each from the Oxford and Cambridge magazines The Isis and Cambridge for defamatory references to him in an article on Wilde.

He was a plaintiff and defendant in several trials for civil or criminal libel. In 1913 he accused Arthur Ransome of libelling him in his book Oscar Wilde: A Critical Study. He saw this trial as a weapon against his enemy Ross, not understanding that Ross would not be called to give evidence in the trial. Similarly he did not appreciate that when he urged Wilde to sue his father that his father’s character was not relevant to the case. The court found in Ransome's favour.

In the most noted case, brought by Winston Churchill in 1923, Douglas was found guilty of libelling Churchill and was sentenced to six months in prison. Douglas had claimed that Churchill had been part of a Jewish conspiracy to kill Lord Kitchener, the British Secretary of State for War. Kitchener had died on June 5, 1916, while on a diplomatic mission to Russia: the ship in which he was travelling, the armoured cruiser HMS Hampshire, struck a German mine and sank west of the Orkney Islands. Despite this conflict, in 1941 he wrote a sonnet in praise of Churchill (Murray page 317).

In 1924 while in prison, Douglas, in an ironic echo of Wilde's composition of De Profundis (Latin for "From the Depths") during his incarceration, wrote his last major poetic work, In Excelsis (literally, "in the highest" in Latin), which contains 17 cantos. Since the prison authorities would not allow Douglas to take the manuscript with him when he was released, Douglas had to write out the entire work from memory.

Douglas maintained that his health never recovered from his harsh prison ordeal, which included sleeping on a plank bed without a mattress.

[edit] Repudiation and Reconciliation with Oscar Wilde
More than a decade after Wilde's death, with the release of suppressed portions of Wilde's De Profundis letter in 1912, Douglas turned against his former friend, whose homosexual practices he grew to condemn. In 1918, having been called as witness in Maud Allan's libel suit against a newspaperman, he described his old lover as "the greatest force for evil that has appeared in Europe during the last three hundred and fifty years." Douglas added that he intensely regretted having met Wilde, and having helped him with the translation of Salomé, which he described as "a most pernicious and abominable piece of work."

Following his own incarceration in prison in 1924, Douglas' feelings toward Oscar Wilde began to soften considerably. He said in Oscar Wilde: A Summing Up that “Sometimes a sin is also a crime (for example, a murder or theft) but this is not the case with homosexuality, any more than with adultery” (Murray p309-310).

[edit] Later life
Throughout the 1930s and until his death, Douglas maintained correspondences with many people, including Marie Stopes and George Bernard Shaw. Anthony Wynn wrote the play Bernard and Bosie: A Most Unlikely Friendship based on the letters between Shaw and Douglas. One of Douglas's final public appearances was his well-received lecture to the Royal Society of Literature on 2 September 1943, entitled The Principles of Poetry, which was published in a limited edition of 1,000 copies. He attacked the poetry of T. S. Eliot, and the talk was praised by Arthur Quiller-Couch and Augustus John (Murray pages 318-319).

Douglas's only child, Raymond, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 1927 and entered St. Andrews Hospital, a mental institution. He was decertified after five years and released from the hospital, but he suffered a subsequent breakdown and returned to the hospital. In February 1944, when Olive Douglas died of a cerebral haemorhage at the age of 67, Raymond was able to attend his mother's funeral and in June was again decertified and released from St. Andrews Hospital. However, his conduct rapidly deteriorated. He returned to St. Andrews in November where he stayed until his death on 10 October 1964.

[edit] Death
Douglas died of congestive heart failure on 20 March 1945 at the age of 74. He was buried at the Franciscan Monastery, Crawley, West Sussex on 23 March. He is interred alongside his mother, Sibyl, Marchioness of Queensberry, who died in 1937 at the age of 91. A single gravestone covers them both.

[edit] Writings
Douglas published several volumes of poetry; two books about his relationship with Wilde, Oscar Wilde and Myself (1914; largely ghostwritten by T.W.H. Crosland, the assistant editor of The Academy and later repudiated by Douglas), Oscar Wilde: A Summing Up (1940); and a memoir, The Autobiography of Lord Alfred Douglas (1931).

Douglas translated The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in 1919, one of the first English language translations of that anti-Semitic work. He also was the editor of a literary journal, The Academy, from 1907 to 1910, and during this time he had a heterosexual affair with artist Romaine Brooks.

There are six biographies of Douglas. The earlier ones by Braybrooke and Freeman were not allowed to quote from Douglas’s copyright work, and De Profundis was unpublished. Later biographies were by Rupert Croft-Cooke, H. Montgomery Hyde (who has also wrote about Oscar Wilde), Douglas Murray (who describes Braybrooke’s biography as "a rehash and exaggeration of Douglas’s book", i.e. his Autobiography). The most recent is Alfred Douglas: A Poet's Life and His Finest Work by Caspar Wintermans, from Peter Owen Publishers in 2007.

[edit] Poetry
Poems (1896)
Tails with a Twist 'by a Belgian Hare' (1898)
The City of the Soul (1899)
The Duke of Berwick (1899)
The Placid Pug (1906)
The Pongo Papers and the Duke of Berwick (1907)
Sonnets (1909)
The Collected Poems of Lord Alfred Douglas (1919)
In Excelsis (1924)
The Complete Poems of Lord Alfred Douglas (1928)
Sonnets (1935)
Lyrics (1935)
The Sonnets of Lord Alfred Douglas (1943)

[edit] Non-fiction
Oscar Wilde and Myself (1914)
Foreword to New Preface to the 'Life and Confessions of Oscar Wilde' by Frank Harris (1925)
Introduction to Songs of Cell by Horatio Bottomley (1928)
The Autobiography of Lord Alfred Douglas (1929; 2nd ed. 1931)
My Friendship with Oscar Wilde (1932; retitled American version of his Autobiography)
The True History of Shakespeare's Sonnets (1933)
Introduction to The Pantomime Man by Richard Middleton (1933)
Preface to Bernard Shaw, Frank Harris, and Oscar Wilde by Robert Harborough Sherard (1937)
Without Apology (1938)
Preface to Oscar Wilde: A Play by Leslie Stokes & Sewell Stokes (1938)
Introduction to Brighton Aquatints by John Piper (1939)
Ireland and the War Against Hitler (1940)
Oscar Wilde: A Summing Up (1940)
Introduction to Oscar Wilde and the Yellow Nineties by Frances Winwar (1941)
The Principles of Poetry (1943)
Preface to Wartime Harvest by Marie Carmichael Stopes (1944)

[edit] Secondary sources
Braybrooke, Patrick. Lord Alfred Douglas: His Life and Work (1931)
Freeman, William. Lord Alfred Douglas: Spoilt Child of Genius (1948)
Queensberry, Marquess of [Francis Douglas] and Percy Colson. Oscar Wilde and the Black Douglas (1949)
Croft-Cooke, Rupert. Bosie: Lord Alfred Douglas, His Friends and Enemies (1963)
Roberts, Brian. The Mad Bad Line: The Family of Lord Alfred Douglas (1981)
Hyde, Mary, ed. Bernard Shaw and Alfred Douglas: A Correspondence (1982)
Hyde, H. Montgomery. Lord Alfred Douglas: A Biography (1985) ISBN 0-413-50790-4
Murray, Douglas. Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas (2000) ISBN 0-340-76771-5
Fisher, Trevor. Oscar and Bosie: A Fatal Passion (2002) ISBN 0-7509-2459-4
Fleming, Justin. The Cobra, a play, published by Xlibris in Coup d'Etat & Other Plays (2004) by Justin Fleming
Michael Matthew Kaylor, Secreted Desires: The Major Uranians: Hopkins, Pater and Wilde (2006), a 500-page scholarly volume that considers the Victorian writers of Uranian poetry and prose, such as Douglas
Smith, Timothy d'Arch. Love in Earnest. Some Notes on the Lives and Writings of English 'Uranian' Poets from 1889 to 1930. (1970) ISBN 0-7100-6730-5
Wintermans, Caspar. Alfred Douglas: A Poet's Life and His Finest Work (2007) ISBN 0-7206-1207-5

John Donne

John Donne (pronounced like done, IPA: /ˈdʌn/; 1572 – March 31, 1631) was a Jacobean poet and preacher, representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. His works, notable for their realistic and sensual style, include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and immediacy of metaphor, compared with that of his contemporaries.

Donne came from a loyal Roman Catholic family, and so he experienced persecution until his conversion to the Anglican Church. Despite his great education and poetic talents, he lived in poverty for several years, relying heavily on wealthy friends. In 1615 he became an Anglican priest and in 1621 Dean of St Paul's. Some scholars believe his literary works reflect these trends, with love poetry and satires from his youth, and religious sermons during his later years. Other scholars, such as Helen Gardner, question the validity of dating when most of his poems were published posthumously (1633). The exception to these is his Anniversaries which were published in 1612 and Devotions upon Emergent Occasions published in 1623. His sermons are also dated, sometimes quite specifically, by year and date.

Early life

A portrait of Donne as a young man.John Donne was born in Bread Street, London, England, sometime between January 23 and June 19 in 1572, the third of six children. His father, of Welsh descent, also called John Donne, was a warden of the Ironmongers Company in the City of London and a respected Roman Catholic who avoided unwelcome government attention, out of fear of being persecuted for his Catholicism.[2][3] John Donne Sr. died in 1576, leaving his wife, Elizabeth Heywood, the responsibility of raising their children.[3] Elizabeth Heywood, also from a noted Catholic family, was the daughter of John Heywood, the playwright, and sister of Jasper Heywood, the translator and Jesuit. She was a great-niece of the Catholic martyr Thomas More.[4] This tradition of martyrdom would continue among Donne’s closer relatives, many of whom were executed or exiled for religious reasons.[5] Despite the obvious dangers, Donne’s family arranged for his education by the Jesuits, which gave him a deep knowledge of his religion that equipped him for the ideological religious conflicts of his time.[4] Elizabeth Donne nee Heywood married Dr John Syminges, a wealthy widower with three children, a few months after John Donne Sr's death. The next year, 1577, John Donne's sister Elizabeth died, followed by two more of his sisters, Mary and Katherine, in 1581. Before the future poet was ten years old he had thus experienced the deaths of four of his immediate family.

Part of the house where John Donne lived in Pyrford.Donne was a student at Hart Hall, now Hertford College, Oxford, from the age of 11. After three years at Oxford he was admitted to the University of Cambridge, where he studied for another three years. He was unable to obtain a degree from either institution because he refused to take the Oath of Supremacy required of graduates.[4] In 1591, he was accepted as a student at the Thaives Inn legal school, one of the Inns of Court in London. In 1592 he was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn, another of the Inns of Court legal schools.[4] His brother Henry was also a university student prior to his arrest in 1593 for harbouring a Catholic priest. Henry Donne died in prison of bubonic plague, leading John Donne to begin questioning his Catholic faith.[3]

During and after his education, Donne spent much of his considerable inheritance on women, literature, pastimes, and travel.[4][2] Although there is no record detailing precisely where he travelled, it is known that he visited the Continent and later fought with the Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Raleigh against the Spanish at Cadiz (1596) and the Azores (1597) and witnessed the loss of the Spanish flagship, the San Felipe, and her crew.[6][3][1] According to Izaak Walton, who wrote a biography of Donne in 1640:

“ ... he returned not back into England till he had stayed some years, first in Italy, and then in Spain, where he made many useful observations of those countries, their laws and manner of government, and returned perfect in their languages. ”

By the age of 25 he was well prepared for the diplomatic career he appeared to be seeking.[6] He was appointed chief secretary to the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Sir Thomas Egerton, and was established at Egerton’s London home, York House, Strand close to the Palace of Whitehall, then the most influential social centre in England. During the next four years he fell in love with Egerton's 17 (some say 14 or 16) year old niece, Anne More, and they were secretly married in 1601 against the wishes of both Egerton and her father, George More, Lieutenant of the Tower. This ruined his career and earned him a short stay in Fleet Prison along with the priest who married them and the man who acted as a witness to the wedding. Donne was released when the marriage was proved valid, and soon secured the release of the other two. Walton tells us that when he wrote to his wife to tell her about losing his post, he wrote after his name: John Donne, Anne Donne, Un-done. It was not until 1609 that Donne was reconciled with his father-in-law and received his wife's dowry.

Following his release, Donne had to accept a retired country life in Pyrford, Surrey.[4] Over the next few years he scraped a meagre living as a lawyer, depending on his wife’s cousin Sir Francis Wolly to house him, his wife, and their children. Since Anne Donne had a baby almost every year, this was a very generous gesture.

Though he practiced law and worked as an assistant pamphleteer to Thomas Morton, he was in a state of constant financial insecurity, with a growing family to provide for.[4] Before her death, Anne bore him eleven children (including still births). The nine living were named Constance, John, George, Francis, Lucy (after Donne's patroness Lucy, Countess of Bedford, her godmother), Bridget, Mary, Nicholas and Margaret. Francis and Mary died before they were ten. In a state of despair, Donne noted that the death of a child would mean one less mouth to feed, but he could not afford the burial expenses. During this time Donne wrote, but did not publish, Biathanatos, his daring defense of suicide.[5]

[edit] Early poetry
Donne's earliest poems showed a brilliant knowledge of English society coupled with sharp criticism of its problems. His satires dealt with common Elizabethan topics, such as corruption in the legal system, mediocre poets, and pompous courtiers, yet stand out due to their intellectual sophistication and striking imagery. His images of sickness, vomit, manure, and plague assisted in the creation of a strongly satiric world populated by all the fools and knaves of England. His third satire, however, deals with the problem of true religion, a matter of great importance to Donne. Donne argued that it was better carefully to examine one's religious convictions than blindly to follow any established tradition, for none would be saved at the Final Judgment by claiming "A Harry, or a Martin taught [them] this."[5]

Donne's early career was also notable for his erotic poetry, especially his elegies, in which he employed unconventional metaphors, such as a flea biting two lovers being equated to marriage.[6] In Elegy XIX, "To His Mistress Going to Bed," he poetically undressed his mistress and compared the act of fondling to the exploration of America. In Elegy XVIII he compared the gap between his lover's breasts to the Hellespont.[6] Donne did not publish these poems, although he did allow them to circulate widely in manuscript form.[6]

Because love-poetry was very fashionable at that time, there are different opinions about whether the passionate love poems Donne wrote are addressed to his wife Anne, but it seems likely. She spent most of her married life either pregnant or nursing, so they evidently had a strong physical relationship. On August 15, 1617, his wife died five days after giving birth to a still-born baby, their eleventh child in sixteen years of marriage. Donne mourned her deeply and never remarried. This was quite unusual for the time, especially as he had a large family to bring up.

[edit] Career and later life
Donne was elected as Member of Parliament for the constituency of Brackley in 1602, but this was not a paid position and Donne struggled to provide for his family, relying heavily upon rich friends.[4] The fashion for coterie poetry of the period gave him a means to seek patronage and many of his poems were written for wealthy friends or patrons, especially Sir Robert Drury, who came to be Donne's chief patron in 1610.[6] It was for Sir Robert that Donne wrote the two Anniversaries, An Anatomy of the World (1611) and Of the Progress of the Soul, (1612). While historians are not certain as to the precise reasons for which Donne left the Catholic Church, he was certainly in communication with the King, James I of England, and in 1610 and 1611 he wrote two anti-Catholic polemics: Pseudo-Martyr and Ignatius his Conclave.[4] Although James was pleased with Donne's work, he refused to reinstate him at court and instead urged him to take holy orders.[3] Although Donne was at first reluctant due to feeling unworthy of a clerical career, Donne finally acceded to the King's wishes and was ordained into the Church of England in 1615.[6]

A few months before his death, Donne commissioned this portrait of himself as he expected to appear when he rose from the grave at the Apocalypse.[7] He hung the portrait on his wall as a reminder of the transience of life.After Anne Donne's death in 1617, her grief-stricken husband would later write the 17th Holy Sonnet with this event in mind.[4]

Donne became a Royal Chaplain in late 1615, Reader of Divinity at Lincoln's Inn in 1616, and received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Cambridge in 1618.[4] Later in 1618 Donne became the chaplain for the Viscount of Doncaster, who was on an embassy to the princes of Germany. Donne did not return to England until 1620.[4] In 1621 Donne was made Dean of St Paul's, a leading (and well-paid) position in the Church of England and one he held until his death in 1631. During his period as Dean his daughter Lucy died, aged eighteen. In 1624 he became vicar of St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, and 1625 a Royal Chaplain to Charles I.[4] He earned a reputation as an impressive, eloquent preacher and 160 of his sermons have survived, including the famous Death’s Duel sermon delivered at the Palace of Whitehall before King Charles I in February 1631. He died on March 31, 1631 having never published a poem in his lifetime but having left a body of work fiercely engaged with the emotional and intellectual conflicts of his age. John Donne is buried in St Paul's, where a memorial statue of him was erected (carved from a drawing of him in his shroud), with a Latin epigraph probably composed by himself.

[edit] Later poetry
His numerous illnesses, financial strain, and the deaths of his friends all contributed to the development of a more somber and pious tone in his later poems.[6] The change can be clearly seen in "An Anatomy of the World," (1611), a poem that Donne wrote in memory of Elizabeth Drury, daughter of his patron, Sir Robert Drury. This poem treats the death of the girl in an extremely morose mood, expanding her death to the Fall of Man and the destruction of the universe.[6] It is interesting to note that Donne wrote his will on St Lucy's Day (December 13th) 1630. His poem 'A Nocturnal upon S. Lucy's Day, being the shortest day' concerns his despair at the death of a loved one. Donne expresses a feeling of utter negation and hopelessness, saying that "I am every dead Of absence, darkness, death". Although it is probable that this poem was written in 1627 when both his friend Lucy, Countess of Bedford and his daughter Lucy Donne died, it seems fitting that three years later he chose to write his will on the date he had described as "Both the year's, and the day's deep midnight."

This change may also be observed in the religious works that Donne began writing during the same period. His early belief in the value of skepticism now gave way to a firm faith in the traditional teachings of the Bible. Having converted to the Anglican Church, Donne focused his literary career on religious literature. He quickly became noted for his deeply moving sermons and religious poems. The passionate lines of these sermons would come to influence future works of English literature, such as Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, which took its title from a passage in Meditation XVII, and Thomas Merton’s No Man is an Island, which took its title from the same source.

Towards the end of his life Donne wrote works that challenged death, and the fear that it inspired in many men, on the grounds of his belief that those who die are sent to Heaven to live eternally. One example of this challenge is his Holy Sonnet X, from which come the famous lines “Death, be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so.” Even as he lay dying on Lent in 1631, he rose from his sickbed and delivered the Death's Duel sermon, which was later described as his own funeral sermon. Death’s Duel portrays life as a steady descent to suffering and death, yet sees hope in salvation and immortality through an embrace of God, Christ and the Resurrection.[8][6][5]

[edit] Sexual Desire in the Holy Sonnets
While Donne's Holy Sonnets may have appeared markedly different from his earlier poetry with the shift from adressing the speaker's mistress to complete devotion to God; the two remain very similar in terms of sexuality. Donne's earlier poetry, specifically the Elegies, are obsessed with the speakers fleshy lust for his mistress and the desire to sexually dominate her, while the Holy Sonnets are concerned with the speakers complete religious devotion to God, yet still the speaker's desire for a sexual relationship. In fact, the speaker of the Holy Sonnets equates complete religious devotion with a sexual experience, and this time wishes to be the sexually dominated.

Ben Saunders, an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Oregon and the author of Desiring Donne: Poetry, Sexuality, Interpretation claims that, "John Donne was not above addressing God himself in tones of 'immoderate desire' variously adopting the postures of demand, seduction, desperation, fidelity, and abjection in his poetic prayers" (Saunders 1). One of Donne's most famous Holy Sonnets, Sonnet 14, has that incredibly inappropriate and violently sexual religious tone. Here the speaker pleads with God, in lines 11-14 to, "Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,/ Take me to You, imprison me, for I/ Except You enthral me, never shall be free,/ Nor ever chaste, except You ravish me (Black 926). In this Holy Sonnet, the speaker demands God to completley fill his life, yet the desire of the speaker becomes one that seems to be asking to be violently raped by God. The speaker even goes so far as to ask God to "ravish" him. This sonnet reveals Saunders assertion that Donne, "wrote constantly about the desires that racked and delighted him" (Saunders 1).

Professor Frank Warnke, professor and head of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia as well as a prominent Donne scholar, argues that, "The speaker in the Holy Sonnet lavishes upon God all the ingenuity and eloquence he had once devised for his earthly mistresses (Warnke 105). In Holy Sonnet 18, the speaker is again very intersted in Christ as a sexual figure. In this poem the speaker alludes to a sexual relationship between himself, Christ, and the Church when in lines 11-14 the speaker says, "Betray, Kind husband, Thy spouse to our sights,/ And let mine amorous soul court Thy mild dove,/ Who is most true and pleasing to Thee men/ When she's embraced and open to most men (Black 927). Warnke claims that in these lines, "The sonnet concludes with the paradox that Christ, the bridegroom of the Church, is pleased when His bride is sexually possessed by as many men as possible. He thus becomes a wittold, or cooperative cuckold - to the Renaissance mind (or to earthly conceptions) the most contemptible of beings (Warnke 110).

Black, Joseph ed., Supplement to Broadview Anthology of British Literature. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2007.

Warnke, Frank. John Donne. Kinney, Arthur F., ed. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987.

Saunders, Ben. Desiring Donne: Poetry, Sexuality, Interpretation.Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006.

[edit] Feminist Criticism of Donne
Critics debate over the actual role of the lady audience in John Donne’s Songs and Sonnets. While at surface value, they are of romantic nature directed at a female audience held in high regard by the speaker, there are some critics that see the lady as marginal to the poems’ speaker, who focuses strictly on his own feelings. Some call him “an egocentric sensualist who ignored the feelings of the woman,”1 while others see in Donne’s work “his own intense personal moods, as a lover, a friend, an analysis of his own experiences worldly and religious.” 2 Depending on the interpretation of the text, Donne may be seen as a doting lover or chauvinistic narcissist. Still, there is a third point in the center of this spectrum, understanding both extremes. To compromise these two viewpoints is the opinion that, “self-consciousness can easily seem like self-absorption, an inclination to attitudes of withdrawn egocentricity.” 3 A famous criticism of Donne from the feminist view came from fellow poet John Dryden, saying that Donne “perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy, when he should engage their hearts and entertain them with softnesses of love.” 4 In an ironic twist, Dryden’s critique of Donne’s work stands on the assumption that the women being praised in the poems were shallow and dim-witted, unable to understand the high praises Donne was giving to them.

1 Kenneth Muir, ed., Collected Poems of Sir Thomas Wyatt (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1949), p. xxix.

2 Sir Herbert Grierson, “Donne and Metaphysical Poetry,” John Donne’s Poetry, ed. A.C. Clements (New York: Norton, 1966), p. 122; Crofts, p. 82.

3 Illona Bell, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 23, No. 1, The English Renaissance. (Winter, 1983), p. 113-129.

4 John Dryden, A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire (1693), cited in A.C. Clements, ed., John Donne’s Poetry (New York: Norton, 1966), p. 106.

[edit] Interpretation of John Donne’s Meditation XVII
In the most famous passage of Meditation XVII, the arrangement of words physically becomes the nature of the idea. Consider the passage, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee” (Donne). The words of this passage flow into each other; they follow each other perfectly, without pause. There is a string of descriptions that all tie beautifully into one whole. This structure conveys that man flows onto man. Every death, every birth, every inkling of pain of any one human is infinitely felt in the conscience of mankind. No man is exiled; no man is alone; he cannot be; he is part of a whole in this earth, and in the next, he is united with God. This passage is a physical mirror of its context. According to Douglas Trevor’s article “John Donne and Scholarly Melancholy”, “Donne often describes ecstatic religious experience with the same metaphors of earthly instability and material metamorphoses he uses to catalogue his melancholic, self-destructive inclinations”. I don’t believe that Donne’s writing, especially in Meditation XVII, can be interpreted as self-destructive. Donne is genuine; he is harsh by saying that nothing else but God can save man. He makes a strong argument against the veneration of material possessions, but this is in no sense self-destructive. It is a humbling of man before God, a warning to man that he will not find salvation in earthly gain. But rather, salvation is rooted in our realization of the soul and spirit that connects us with all other human beings, and ultimately to God. According to Paul Harland’s article “Dramatic Technique and Personae in Donne’s Sermons”, even though the author is referring specifically to the sermons, I believe that the thought could be applied to Meditation VXII as well, “For Donne, the grandeur of the human condition could be found in the fact that, by accepting or denying God’s grace, individuals might elect or change their natures. The happiness of human beings is God’s abiding purpose, but the quality of that happiness depends upon wholly voluntary service.” An example of this is, “if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less” (Donne). This is a significant idea. A clod, a little piece of dirt, washed away by the sea, can lessen all of Europe. As a man, one little man, you can influence, can touch, can affect all of mankind. It is a beautiful idea, it gives man purpose; it gives him meaning, a reason for being. You are not only you, but part of a whole, part of something greater, part of God. In Meditation XVII, not only through his rhetoric, but through his ideas, Donne shows man’s connection to his fellow man, to every object on this earth, and ultimately, to God.

Harland, W. Paul. “Dramatic Technique and Personae in Donne’s Sermons,” ELH Vol. 53, No. 4. (Winter, 1986), pp. 709-726.

Trevor, Douglas. “John Donne and Scholarly Melancholy,” Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 40.1 (2000) 81-102.

[edit] Legacy
John Donne is commemorated as a priest in the Calendar of Saints of the Anglican Communion and in the calendar of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on March 31.[9]

The memorial to John Donne, modeled after the engraving pictured above, was one of the only such memorials to survive the Great Fire of London in 1666 and now appears in St Paul's Cathedral south of the quire.

[edit] Style
John Donne is considered a master of the conceit, an extended metaphor that combines two vastly unlike ideas into a single idea, often using imagery.[5] An example of this is his equation of lovers with saints in "The Canonization." Unlike the conceits found in other Elizabethan poetry, most notably Petrarchan conceits, which formed clichéd comparisons between more closely related objects (such as a rose and love), Metaphysical conceits go to a greater depth in comparing two completely unlike objects, although sometimes in the mode of Shakespeare's radical paradoxes and imploded contraries. One of the most famous of Donne's conceits is found in A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning where he compares two lovers who are separated to the two legs of a compass.

Donne's works are also witty, employing paradoxes, puns, and subtle yet remarkable analogies. His pieces are often ironic and cynical, especially regarding love and human motives. Common subjects of Donne's poems are love (especially in his early life), death (especially after his wife's death), and religion.[5]

John Donne's poetry represented a shift from classical forms to more personal poetry.[10] Donne is noted for his poetic metre, which was structured with changing and jagged rhythms that closely resemble casual speech (it was for this that the more classically-minded Ben Jonson commented that "Donne, for not keeping of accent, deserved hanging").[5]

John Donne was famous for his metaphysical poetry in the 17th century. His work suggests a healthy appetite for life and its pleasures, while also expressing deep emotion. He did this through the use of conceits, wit and intellect – as seen in the poems “The Sunne Rising” and “Batter My Heart.” His work has received much criticism over the years, with very judgmental responses about his metaphysical form.[5] Donne's immediate successors in poetry tended to regard his works with ambivalence, while the Neoclassical poets regarded his conceits as abuse of the metaphor. He was revived by Romantic poets such as Coleridge and Browning, though his more recent revival in the early twentieth century by poets such as T.S. Eliot tended to portray him as an anti-Romantic.[11]

[edit] Bibliography
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
John DonneWikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
John Donne
[edit] Poetry
Poems (1633)
Poems on Several Occasions (2001)
Love Poems (1905)
John Donne: Divine Poems, Sermons, Devotions and Prayers (1990)
The Complete English Poems (1991)
John Donne's Poetry (1991)
John Donne: The Major Works (2000)
The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Donne (2001)

[edit] Prose
Six Sermons (1634)
Fifty Sermons (1649)
Paradoxes, Problemes, Essayes, Characters (1652)
Essayes in Divinity (1651)
Sermons Never Before Published (1661)
John Donne's 1622 Gunpowder Plot Sermon (1996)
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and Death's Duel (1999)

[edit] Critical works
John Carey, John Donne: Life, Mind and Art, (London 1981)
A.L. Clements (ed.) John Donne's Poetry (New York and London, 1966)
G. Hammond (ed.) The Metaphysical Poets: A Casebook, (London 1986)
T.S. Eliot, "The Metaphysical Poets", Selected Essays, (London 1969)
George Klawitter, The Enigmatic Narrator: The Voicing of Same-Sex Love in the Poetry of John Donne (Peter Lang, 1994)
Arthur F. Marotti, John Donne, Coterie Poet, (Madison: University of Wisconson Press, 1986)
H.L. Meakin, John Donne's Articulations of the Feminine, (Oxford, 1999)
Joe Nutt, John Donne: The Poems, (New York and London 1999)
C.L. Summers and T.L. Pebworth (eds.) The Eagle and the Dove: Reassessing John Donne (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1986)
John Stachniewski, The Persecutory Imagination, (Oxford, 1991)
Stevie Davies, John Donne (Northcote House, Plymouth, 1994)
James Winny, A Preface to Donne (New York, 1981)

[edit] Biography
John Stubbs, Donne: The Reformed Soul, Viking, 2006. ISBN 0670915106
Edward Le Comte, Grace to a Witty Sinner: A Life of Donne, (Walker, 1965)
Frank J. Warnke, John Donne, (U of Mass., Amherst 1987)
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