John Donne: Devotions

(1587 words)

John Donne’s Devotions upon Emergent Occasions is an autobiographical work which was composed in 1623, during a time when the author was suffering from a life-threatening illness. There is no surviving manuscript of the work and so the first of the five editions printed during the seventeenth century, entered into the Stationers Register on 9 January 1624, has served as a copy text for subsequent editions. Although Donne’s illness remains unknown, it has been suggested that his symptoms could have been consistent with typhus or the seven-day fever (Raspa 1975, p. xiv.)

The work takes the form of devotional prose, which may have found its influence in the Exercises of Ignatius Loyola. Anthony Raspa and Helen …

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Altman, Shanyn Leigh. "Devotions". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 April 2014
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]