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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Donne's military career is the essence of this article. Donne's military career spans 1596–7, including two expeditions against Spain: the former a maritime assault and landing at Cadiz; the latter an ill-fated venture in the Azores, often called the Islands voyage. For both expeditions Donne was a voluntary or gentleman volunteer who served with the Earl of Essex, a sometime favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and a courtier whose vibrant personality, impulsive behaviour, and headstrong manner elicited a following of young men. Though a soldier, Donne spent most of his time on board a vessel. But Donne's references to these expeditions emphasize life at sea and maritime warfare, not assaults overland. If, therefore, Donne saw action on the ground at Cadiz, he did not write graphically about his experiences. Though Donne's military experiences were limited, his accounts of such service, whether in prose or poetry, are graphically descriptive, rich with near-journalistic detail.

Keywords: career, military career, Azores, Donne's military career, Cadiz

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