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Donne, John (1572–1631)

  1. Gene Edward Veith

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0444

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Veith, G. E. 2011. Donne, John (1572–1631). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


John Donne was born in London in 1572 to Roman Catholic parents. His father, also John, was a wealthy ironmonger, and he and his wife Elizabeth gave their son a Jesuit education. Later, after studying law, John Donne the younger converted to the Church of England in order to advance his ambitions at court. Here he won a reputation for his wit, his womanizing, and his strikingly original love poems. Eventually, though, Donne became an Anglican priest, known for his vivid sermons, piercing devotional writings, and his equally original religious poems. Donne pioneered the style that would be known as “metaphysical poetry,” which would prove especially influential in the 20th century.


  • Donne, John (1572–1631);
  • Donne, an Anglican priest, known for his vivid sermons;
  • pioneering the style, known as “metaphysical poetry”;
  • songs and sonnets;
  • Donne's love poetry;
  • devotions upon emergent occasions;
  • Donne's poetry, whether human love or divine love;
  • metaphysical poetry, new surge of influence in modernist movement