?Donne is perhaps the most intellectual of English poets, and John Carey is perhaps the most intelligent of contemporary English literary critics. The encounter, as one might expect, is fierce and enthralling? This book is sensitive, searching, powerful, exciting, provocative and witty. It is a superb achievement.? Christopher Hill, TLS John Donne: Life, Mind and Art is a unique attempt to see Donne whole. Beginning with an account of his life, it takes as its domain not only the whole range of the poetry, but also the sermons, the letters, the spiritual and controversial works, and such highly personal documents as the treatise on suicide. The result is a clearer picture than has hitherto emerged of one of the most intricate and compelling of literary personalities. ?The one book we have needed all along? A magnificent exercise in reappraisal. I have never read a critical work which reaches as deeply inside the mind of its subject.? Jonathan Raban, Sunday Times ?Carey?s book is itself alive with the kind of energy it attributes to Donne.? Christopher Ricks, London Review of Books
John Carey is Emeritus Merton Professor of English at Oxford University, a distinguished critic, reviewer and broadcaster, and the author of many books, including studies of Donne, Dickens and Thackeray. His guide to twentieth century literature, Pure Pleasure, was described by James Wood in the London Review of Books as 'likeable, wise and often right . . . One feels an attractive sense of partisanship in Carey's writing, an alliance with the ordinary, the plain spoken, the unlettered, the sympathetic and the humane. Carey writes with an Orwellian attention to decency'. His celebrated polemic What Good are the Arts? provoked much debate and discussion in 2005. He has been a regular critic on BBC2's Newsnight Review, and is also the editor of the best-selling anthologies The Faber Book of Reportage, The Faber Book of Science and The Faber Book of Utopias.