The Transformations of John Donne
Author: Katherine Rundell
Winner of the 2022 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
Longlisted for the 2023 Plutarch Award
A Wall Street Journal Top 10 Best Book of 2022
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, Times Literary Supplement, and Literary Hub
From the standout scholar Katherine Rundell, Super-Infinite presents a sparkling and very modern biography of John Donne: the poet of love, sex, and death.
Sometime religious outsider and social disaster, sometime celebrity preacher and establishment darling, John Donne was incapable of being just one thing.
He was a scholar of law, a sea adventurer, a priest, a member of Parliament—and perhaps the greatest love poet in the history of the English language. He converted from Catholicism to Protestantism, was imprisoned for marrying a sixteen-year-old girl without her father’s consent, struggled to feed a family of ten children, and was often ill and in pain. He was a man who suffered from surges of misery, yet expressed in his verse many breathtaking impressions of electric joy and love.
In Super-Infinite, Katherine Rundell embarks on a fleet-footed act of evangelism, showing us the many sides of Donne’s extraordinary life, his obsessions, his blazing words, and his tempestuous Elizabethan times—unveiling Donne as the most remarkable mind and as a lesson in living.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux