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The Oxford Handbook of John Donne

The Oxford Handbook of John Donne (Hardback)

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The Oxford Handbook of John Donne presents scholars with the history of Donne studies and provides tools to orient scholarship in this field in the twenty-first century and beyond. Though profoundly historical in its orientation, the Handbook is not a summary of existing knowledge but a resource that reveals patterns of literary and historical attention and the new directions that these patterns enable or obstruct. Part I - Research resources in Donne Studies and why they matter - emphasizes the heuristic and practical orientation of the Handbook, examining prevailing assumptions and reviewing the specialized scholarly tools available. This section provides a brief evaluation and description of the scholarly strengths, shortcomings, and significance of each resource, focusing on a balanced evaluation of the opportunities and the hazards each offers. Part II - Donne's genres - begins with an introduction that explores the significance and differentiation of the numerous genres in which Donne wrote, including discussion of the problems posed by his overlapping and bending of genres.

Essays trace the conventions and histories of the genres concered and study the ways in which Donne's works confirm how and why his 'fresh invention' illustrates his responses to the literary and non-literary contexts of their composition. Part III - Biographical and historical contexts - creates perspective on what is known about Donne's life; shows how his life and writings epitomized and affected important controversial issues of his day; and brings to bear on Donne studies some of the most stimulating and creative ideas developed in recent decades by historians of early modern England. Part IV - Problems of literary interpretation that have been traditionally and generally important in Donne Studies - introduces students and researchers to major critical debates affecting the reception of Donne from the 17th through to the 21st centuries.

Jeanne Shami is Professor of English at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, where she has taught since 1977. In 1992, she discovered a manuscript of a John Donne sermon corrected in his hand. She published a parallel-text edition of this sermon in 1996 (John Donne's 1622 Gunpowder Plot Sermon: A Parallel-Text Edition). Shami is the author of John Donne and Conformity in Crisis in the Late Jacobean Pulpit (D.S. Brewer, 2003) and Renaissance Tropologies: The Cultural Imagination of Early Modern England (Duquesne University Press, 2008). She is past president of the John Donne Society (2002-03) and has won its award for distinguished publication three times (1996, 2000, 2003). Dennis Flynn is Professor of English at Bentley University and a past president of the John Donne Society. He has published numerous review and articles in Donne studies; authored John Donne and the Ancient Catholic Nobility; and co-edited three volumes in the ongoing Donne Variorum project as well as John Donne's Marriage Letters at The Folger Shakespeare Library. M. Thomas Hester is Alumni Distinguished Professor of English at North Carolina State University and the author/editor of numerous books and articles on Renaissance literature--most recently, Donne's Marriage Letters in the Folger Shakespeare Library (with Dennis Flynn and Robert P. Sorlien) and Talking Renaissance Texts: Essays on the Humanist Tradition (with Jeffrey Kahan). At present he is an editor of The Oxford Edition of the Prose Letters of Donne, with Dennis Flynn and Ernest W. Sullivan, II. He is also Editor of The John Donne Journal.

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