John Donne wrote the Anniversaries at a time when, with a growing family and out of employment yet still determined to find a career outside the Church of England, he was engaged desperately in courting the rich and powerful for their patronage and for their influence in securing a job that might do justice to his talents and satisfy his worldly ambition. The young satirist who had scorned the ways of the world was now forced to employ its arts and make up to the great and frequently corrupt, or at least crass, figures of the court of James I. He was often ill and much concerned with his soul. Helen Gardner suggests that most of the Holy Sonnets are the work of a religious crisis during the earlier part of 1609. The …
Reid, David. "Anniversaries". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 November 2002; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6577, accessed 26 April 2015.]