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date: 05 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on the idea of two Donnes. Jack and the Doctor...that phrase has reverberated through literary history, although at the very least there should probably be three terms, since it was a third Donne, that is John, keeping a bit of distance from his character, who set the formulation in motion. He did it in 1619, just before setting out for Germany on the Doncaster mission. However, the conception of Donne as two in one did begin to take hold by the middle of the century. In America, as Haskin points out, Evert Duyckinck ‘remarked on the basic compatibility of Walton's two Donnes’, but in ways that are essentially against the Walton grain: to read Donne's life ‘as an illustration of the converting power of religion, is to misunderstand not only Donne, but the spirit of Christianity itself. Certainly there were distinct Donnes, but they inhabited the one Donne.

Keywords: John Donne, two Donnes, Doncaster mission, Evert Duyckinck, Walton grain

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