Charles Green

Charles Green

Department of English Literature
Doctoral Researcher

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Phd title: Authorship and Agency in John Donne’s Commemorative Writing
Supervisors: Dr Hugh Adlington and Dr Mary Ann Lund
PhD English Literature


This thesis explores the composition and impact of commemorative literary genres such as elegy, epitaph and sermon in relation to concepts of selfhood and authorship, both in the early modern period and since. Much of this writing, by and about John Donne (on whom the thesis focuses), is highly neglected in modern scholarship; yet rehabilitating it can add colour and context to current thinking on Donne’s status as an early modern author and major canonical poet. In order to do this, the thesis first reconsiders the occasions and contexts that elicited such writing, as well as the intellectual and contextual factors that influenced its highly allusive and particular styles of argumentation and self-fashioning. Reading forwards from these expressly self-reflexive and monumental texts, it will then trace their impact on Donne’s literary and cultural afterlife, particularly in commemorative works written about him.