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    May, Steven W. and Marotti, Arthur F. 2018. A Companion to Renaissance Poetry. p. 78.

    Burke, Victoria E. 2011. The History of British Women’s Writing, 1610–1690. p. 99.

  • Print publication year: 2002
  • Online publication date: March 2008

4 - John Donne and the circulation of manuscripts

John Donne is the most striking instance of a major Tudor-Stuart poet who flourished in the context of a manuscript culture. Donne's own attitude to their circulation was one of considerable ambivalence, and sometimes outright concern. The situation as regards Donne's prose works is slightly more complicated in that Donne had specific reasons for publishing in print, before his ordination, two substantial anti-Catholic polemics-his very longest work, Pseudo-martyr and Conclave Ignati or Ignatius his conclave. The survival of so many contemporary or near-contemporary manuscript texts of Donne's poems offers scholars special opportunities for the study of manuscript literary culture in this period. At the same time, it provides complex textual problems for modern editors who would seek to establish authentic texts where, without Donne's original autograph manuscripts to help them, none would seem to exist, and where the very history of manuscript transmission would seem to militate against the notion of authority.
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The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain
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Garrard, George 14 April 1612, in his Letters to severall persons of honour (1651).
Herford, C. H. and , P. and Simpson, E. ed. ‘Conversations with Drummond, 1619’, in Ben Jonson, (Oxford, 1925–52), I.
Marotti, A. F. 1986 John Donne, coterie poet, Madison and London.
Pebworth, T.-L. 1989John Donne, coterie poetry, and the text as performance’, Studies in English Literature 1600–1900, 29.
Simpson, E. M. 1948 A study of the prose works of John Donne, 2nd edn, Oxford.
Sullivan, W. W. 1993 The influence of John Donne: his uncollected seventeenth-century printed verse, Columbia, MO and London.
Sylvester, Joshua in ‘Elegie upon the untimely death of the incomparable Prince HenryLachrymae lachrymarum (1613).