** A Sunday Times bestseller **
** A Guardian, Spectator, TLS, New Statesman, Daily Mail, Prospect and Telegraph Book of the Year**
‘Every page sparkles.’ Claire Tomalin
‘Crackling with gusto and sympathetic intelligence’ Andrew Motion
‘A triumph.’ Matt Haig
‘A wonderful, joyous piece of work.’ Maggie O’Farrell
‘Blazingly intelligent and witty’ Telegraph
‘Frankly brilliant’ Sunday Times
From a standout scholar, a sparkling and very modern biography of John Donne: the poet of love, sex, and death.
John Donne lived myriad lives.
Sometime religious outsider and social disaster, sometime celebrity preacher and establishment darling, John Donne was incapable of being just one thing. He was a scholar of law, a sea adventurer, an MP, a priest, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral – and perhaps the greatest love poet in the history of the English language. He converted from Catholicism to Protestantism, was imprisoned for marrying a high-born girl without her father’s consent, struggled to feed a family of ten children and was often ill and in pain. He was a man who suffered from black surges of sadness, yet expressed in his verse electric joy and love.