Online Encyclopedia

JOHN DONNE (1573–1631)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 417 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN DONNE (1573–1631), English poet and divine of the reign of James I., was born in 1573 in the parish of St Nicholas Olave, in the city of London. His father was a wealthy merchant, who next year became warden of the Company of Ironmongers, but died early in 1576. Donne's parents were Catholics, and his mother, Elizabeth Heywood, was directly descended from the sister of the great Sir Thomas More; she was the daughter of John Heywood the epigrammatist. As a child, Donne's precocity was such that it was said of him that " this age hath brought forth another Pico della Mirandola." He entered Hart Hall, Oxford, in October 1584, and left it in 1587, proceeding for a time to Cambridge, where he took his degree: At Oxford he began his friendship with Henry Wotton, and at Cambridge, probably, with Christopher Brooke. Donne was " removed to London " about
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