'Donne is perhaps the most intellectual of English poets, and John Carey is perhaps the most intelligent of contemporary English literary critics. The encounter, as one might expect, is fierce and enthralling... This book is sensitive, searching, powerful, exciting, provocative and witty. It is a superb achievement.' Christopher Hill, TLS
John Donne: Life, Mind and Art is a unique attempt to see Donne whole. Beginning with an account of his life, it takes as its domain not only the whole range of the poetry, but also the sermons, the letters, the spiritual and controversial works, and such highly personal documents as the treatise on suicide. The result is a clearer picture than has hitherto emerged of one of the most intricate and compelling of literary personalities.
'The one book we have needed all along... A magnificent exercise in reappraisal. I have never read a critical work which reaches as deeply inside the mind of its subject.' Jonathan Raban, Sunday Times
'Carey's book is itself alive with the kind of energy it attributes to Donne.' Christopher Ricks, London Review of Books