TAKE HEED OF LOVING ME by Elizabeth Gray Vining


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Most people know John Donne as a great metaphysical and erotic poet, as a distinguished preacher in the Established Church of James I of England, and there has been a considerable renascence of interest in his poetry spurred by T.S. Eliot. But few know him as he is presented in this fictional biography of his early years and of the great love story which ended with his wife's death in 1617. We see him here when his favor at court was brought to a sudden end; when his political career terminated with his secret marriage to Anne More, niece of his patron and daughter of the powerful Sir George More. This led to disaster, unemployment, poverty and yet the marriage was its own reward in spite of platonic affairs with various prominent women of the court. In this finely conceived and written story, this romance is the touchstone of a harassed career, the life of the times and its mood and tempo. The acceptance of the remoteness from reality of his love poems may be questioned but she makes it convincing. Without probing much below the surface, she succeeds in presenting him as the man behind the poems while only occasionally revealing the genius which sorrow would later liberate. A book which demands and deserves personal presentation.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1963
Publisher: Lippincott