Poet and preacher John Donne is foremost among the metaphysical poets. Born into a Catholic family, he faced considerable persecution until his conversion to the Anglican Church, into which he was ordained in 1615. His sermons are some of the best known in history, and whilst much of his work is imbued with an overriding religious theme, he also penned love poetry, sonnets, satires and songs.
Nicholas Robins is Head of Periodicals at Shakespeare's Globe. He is the author of Walking Shakespeare's London (2004) and contributes regularly to the TLS.