John Donne’s Language of Disease : Eloquent Blood book cover
1st Edition

John Donne’s Language of Disease
Eloquent Blood

  • Available for pre-order on April 7, 2023. Item will ship after April 28, 2023
ISBN 9781032448770
April 28, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

John Donne’s Language of Disease reveals the influence of medical knowledge -- a rapidly changing field in early modern England -- on Donne’s thinking and writing. This knowledge played a crucial role in shaping how Donne understood his everyday experiences, and how he conveyed those experiences in his work. Examining a wide range of his texts through the lens of medical history, this study contends that Donne was both a product of his period and a remarkable exception to it. He used medical language in unexpected and striking ways that made his ideas resonate with his original audience, and that can illuminate his ideas for readers today.

Table of Contents

Introduction Exploring Donne’s Dynamic Comparisons


Chapter 1 More Than Skin Deep: Dissecting Donne’s Imagery of Humours

Chapter 2 Cures and Currency in Donne’s Letters to Patrons

Chapter 3 Swollen Desires: Dropsy and Donne’s Writing


Chapter 4 ‘We May Have Recourse’: Describing Illness in

Donne’s Devotions

Chapter 5 ‘Sinfull Inough to Infect’: Donne’s Imagery of Contagion

Chapter 6 ‘Holy Perfume’: The Fragrance of Cures in Donne’s Sermons

Conclusion ‘How Lame a Picture’: Depicting the Sick Body

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Alison Bumke is an Assistant Professor of Seventeenth-Century Literature and Drama at the University of Nottingham.