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Title: Donne's convalescence
Authors: Lund, Mary Ann
First Published: 16-Aug-2016
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Renaissance Studies, 2017, 31 (4), pp. 532-548
Abstract: This article argues that the period of Donne's convalescence immediately after his near‐fatal illness in late 1623 is crucial for an understanding of the text it spawned, his Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions (1624). A unique work of meditative writing composed in under a month, the Devotions centres on the author's ‘Steps in my Sicknes’ but does so through the quieter time of spiritual stock‐taking that succeeded it. The period of recovery from illness becomes an important part of Donne's treatment of human sinfulness and repentance. The article explores his conceptualization of and images for convalescence, first through one of his churching sermons, then through the Devotions itself, and finally through an undated Candlemas sermon which this article dates to February 1624, very shortly after Donne's illness. This second sermon demonstrates an intimate relationship with the Devotions and marks a more public response to illness and recovery within the context of St Paul's Cathedral.
DOI Link: 10.1111/rest.12246
ISSN: 0269-1213
eISSN: 1477-4658
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2016. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, College of Social Science

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