John Donne: LXXX Sermons

(4250 words)
  • David Reid

The earliest of Donne’s sermons that has come down to us is the one he preached before Queen Anne at Greenwich in April 1615, not more than four months after his ordination in January. The last is “Death’s Duel”, preached at the beginning of Lent, 1631, five weeks before he died. During his sixteen years as a clergyman, Donne wrote some poems, notably the three hymns, but it was the writing of sermons that became overwhelmingly his mode of literary endeavour. Only six were published during his lifetime but he saw to it that what became three folio volumes of them were written up for his son to publish after his death. They appeared as LXXX Sermons (1640), Fifty Sermons (1649) and XXVI Sermons (…

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Reid, David. "LXXX Sermons". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 March 2004
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]