Disdaining the opening moves traditionally associated with literary biography – the expected orderly progress through ancestry, parentage, birth, schooling, juvenilia – John Drury’s masterly new account of the life and poetry of George Herbert begins instead with the poem that Drury sees as Herbert’s finest work, written in mid-career, ‘Love (III)’. Herbert designed this poem as the culminating piece in the collection upon which his poetic reputation would come ultimately to rest, The Temple (1633).
A new biography of George Herbert
Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert
by John Drury
Allen Lane, $49.99 hb, 416 pp, 9781846142482
Ian Donaldson is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. He is...
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