Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert Paperback – 3 Apr 2014
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Incomparable. Drury triumphantly delivers the goods ... artfully weaving the poetry through the life (Diarmaid MacCulloch Daily Telegraph)
Excellent, captivating, full of moving detail. A terrific book about a remarkable poet (Sally Vickers Independent)
Dazzling (David Grylls Sunday Times)
About the Author
John Drury is Chaplain and Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He began as a biblical scholar, and while Dean of King's College, Cambridge, worked with Frank Kermode on the Gospels for The Literary Guide to the Bible. As Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, he studied Christian paintings and their meaning in Painting the Word. Music at Midnight is the culmination of a lifetime's interest in Herbert, whose Complete Poetry Drury is now editing for Penguin Classics.
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Top Customer Reviews
In this inspiring biography Drury balances and integrates the known details of George Herbert's life, with a welcome commentary on his poems. Herbert's English poems were not published till after his death at age 39. And what a collection. He handed the poems over saying that "the picture of the many spiritual conflicts that have passed betwixt God and my soul..." could be considered for publication if they "may turn to the advantage of any dejected poor soul," (and burnt, if not).
Herbert came from a distinguished family. His mother Magdalen, left widowed with numerous children, married a man 20 years her junior and created 'a salon of witty conversation' at their house in Charing Cross. She was lauded by many talented people, including John Donne. Young George's love of music was enhanced by guests such as William Byrd and John Bull.
George became the public orator at Cambridge, and placated King James with his rhetoric. He wrestled with his own attraction towards academic success and a vocation as a priest, an unusual choice then for a man of his noble background. His health was not good. Poems such as 'Affliction' express his bitter-sweet ambivalence towards the achievements and circumstances of life, his rebellion and bafflement with God, and his love. He enjoyed 3 happy years of married life.Read more ›
Having bought it at the pre-publication price and thinking I had a bargain, I found that I would happily have paid over the price, for I now have a treasure.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'd already read a copy of the book, and admired it so much I've been sending it to friends. It is an almost perfect combination of a fascinating subject, himself a beautiful... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a wonderful book for those who like the poetry of George Herbert - conversational, direct, metrically skilful, theologically informed and biblically allusive. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Will
An absolutely wonderful book. I've given it as presents to 2 friends and still haven't finished it as every sentence has to be savoured.Published 6 months ago by Stan
Very welcome and readable account, sets Herbert's poetry and life into context with each other. Full of insights and enrichment.Published 14 months ago by Revd P. Taylor