George Herbert (1645 words)

  • David Reid (University of Stirling)

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George Herbert, the fifth son of Richard and Magdalene Herbert, was born in 1593, descended on both sides from distinguished Welsh Border families. He was fourth cousin of the third and fourth Earls of Pembroke, sons of Sir Philip Sidney's sister, Mary. By birth he belonged to the ruling class, and this proud, ambitious, eager spirit was brought to become a country parson only after long disappointment of his worldly hopes, illness and doubt about his spiritual vocation. The impress of this disappointment is on The Temple, which, whilst not a spiritual autobiography, he described, according to his seventeenth century biographer, Izaak Walton, as “a picture of the many conflicts that have past betwixt God and my Soul, before I …

Citation:
Reid, David. "George Herbert". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5006, accessed 09 December 2016.]


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  1. The Sonnet Tradition