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Donne, John

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Born: 1572 AD
Died: 1631 AD, at 59 years of age.

Nationality: English
Categories: Poets

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1572 – He was born on this year at London England.

 

1591 – He was accepted as a student at the Thaives Inn legal school, one of the Inns of Court in London.

 

1592 – He was admitted at Lincoln’s Inn, another of the Inns of Court legal schools.

 

1596 – He spent much of his considerable inheritance on women, literature, pastimes, and travel. He visited the Continent and later fought with the Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Raleigh against Spanish at Cadiz.

 

1597 – He witnessed the loss of the Spanish flagship, the San Felipe, and her crew. He prepared the diplomatic career. He was established at Egerton’s London home.

 

1601 – He fell in love with Egerton’s 17-year-old niece, Anne More. They were secretly married on this year 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.

 

1602 – He was elected as Member of Parliament for the constituency of Brackley in this year.

 

1609 – He was reconciled with his father-in-law and received his wife’s dowry. He accepts a retired life in country life in Pyrford, Surrey. 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.

 

1610 – His 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 this year. He wrote two anti-Catholic polemics the Pseudo-Martyr and Ignatius his Conclave.

 

1611 – He wrote the two Anniversaries, An Anatomy of the World for Sir Robert Drury.

 

1612 – He wrote the Of the Progress of the Soul for Sir Robert Drury.

 

1615 – He finally acceded to the King’s wishes and was ordained into the Church of England in this year. He became a Royal Chaplain.

 

1616 – He became a Reader of Divinity at Lincoln’s Inn in this year.

 

1618 – He received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Cambridge in this year. He became the chaplain for the Viscount of Doncaster.

 

1621 – He was made the Dean of St. Paul.

 

1624 – He became a vicar of St. Dunstan’s-in-the-West. 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.

 

1631 – He commissioned this portrait of himself as he expected to appear when he rose from the grave at the Apocalypse. He hung the portrait on his wall as a reminder of the transience of life. 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. He died in the 21st day of March in this year.


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Page last updated: 2:41pm, 22nd May '07

  • "Twice or thrice had I loved thee, Before I knew thy face or name."
  • "Come live with me, and be my love, And we will some new pleasures prove Of golden sands, and crystal brooks, With silken lines, and silver hooks."
  • "Death comes equally to us all, and makes us all equal when it comes."
  • "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."
  • "Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day."