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John Donne in the Nineteenth Century$
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Dayton Haskin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199212422

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212422.001.0001

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Donne at Harvard

Donne at Harvard

(p.196) 7 Donne at Harvard
John Donne in the Nineteenth Century

Dayton Haskin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The tercentenary anniversary of John Donne's death was celebrated during the year before T. S. Eliot inaugurated the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University. Eliot's essay, ‘Donne in Our Time,’ proposed that the vogue for Donne was probably over and that readers would be moving on, as he had, to reading other poets. In fact, through the rest of his life Eliot continued to distance himself from Donne. In the essay ‘To Criticize the Critic,’ he repeated his dissatisfaction with having been ‘credited with starting the vogue for Donne and other metaphysical poets’; and he insisted that he ‘did not discover’ them. Whatever Eliot's personal and professional reasons for attempting to break the connection that others routinely made between him and Donne, the telling point in the tribute that he paid to Dean Briggs is that Donne's place in English literature was already taken for granted in the English curriculum when Eliot matriculated in 1906.

Keywords:   John Donne, Harvard University, poetry, T. S. Eliot, English curriculum, psychography, To Criticize the Critic

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