This new book by Katherine Rundell, now out in the UK but still pending in the United States for September, is one of the very best studies of an individual poet I ever have read. The book’s style is so energetic and so carefully crafted as a whole, it is difficult to excerpt from. What is striking to me is that the blurbs are from super-smart people, and they all are literally accurate (has that ever been the case?). So for instance Claire Tomalin wrote:
Katherine Rundell’s brave and detailed new biography of John Donne is just the book we need…Every page sparkles…
Simon Jenkins wrote:
Rundell has a wonderful touch, light yet profound, which perfectly suits her extraordinary subject…Unmissable.
The great Maggie O’Farrell wrote:
A wonderful, joyous piece of work…with fierce, interrogative intelligence. I just loved it.
All true! Recommended, a sure thing for the year’s best of non-fiction list. You don’t even have to like poetry, as a history book it is first-rate as well.