The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne

The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne - Volume 2

The Elegies
John Donne
Gary A. Stringer, General Editor
Distribution: World
Publication date: 10/1/2000
Format: cloth 1152 pages, 4 b&w photos
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-33376-6
Bookmark and Share
 $80.00  $48.00 

 Add to Wish List 

Also available:

Buy from Amazon


2001 SCMLA Book Prize winner
From reviews of previous volumes:

"This variorum edition will be the basis of all future Donne scholarship." —

"Academic libraries and specialists in Renaissance and 17th-century studies should feel compelled to own each and every volume of this series." —
Seventeenth Century News

"An occasion for celebration. Among the most ambitious and valuable collaborative scholarly enterprises at the end of the twentieth century. Superb." —
Early Modern Literary

This latest addition to the Donne variorum, the third to appear in a projected eight-volume series, presents a newly edited critical text of Donne’s elegies and a comprehensive variorum commentary. As with previous volumes, Volume 2 is based on a study of all known manuscript sources and significant printed editions of Donne’s poetry and on an examination of the criticism and scholarship of the past four centuries.

Author Bio

Gary A. Stringer is Professor of English at Texas A&M University.

Ted-Larry Pebworth is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Ernest W. Sullivan, II, is Edward S. Diggs Professor of English at Virginia Tech University.

John R. Roberts is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Diana Trevino Benet is Professor of English at the University of North Texas.

Theodore J. Sherman is Assistant Professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University.

Dennis Flynn is Professor of English at Bentley College.

Paul A Parrish is Professor of English at Texas A&M University.


"In this third volume in a projected eight-volume series, Stringer presents the most authoritative texts and fullest editorial history of the elegies, including textual apparatus from all known manuscripts and editions from the 17th century onward, and also a comprehensive summary of scholarly and critical commentary on the elegies (also from Donne's era onward). The remarkable insights in the textual/editorial component include identification of the most authoritative manuscript for the elegies (housed in the New York Public Library) and a persuasive speculation that the first 12 elegies in this manuscript reflect Donne's intended sequence. Critical insights reveal the early trend not to treat the elegies as a separate group but to integrate them into a discussion of Donne's amatory verse; the value of using the elegies as context for Donne's later amatory verse, notably Songs and Sonnets; moralistic and biographical readings, which sometimes characterize Donne as a libertine and denounce him for licentiousness; Donne as the first poet to write love elegies in English; the coteries for which the elegies were written and the scribal culture that copied and recopied them for presentation to such audiences of intellectuals. The volume contains five indexes and the most comprehensive bibliography on the elegies now available. Indispensable for large collections supporting 17th–century literature." —A. C. Labriola, Duquesne University , Choice , February 2001

"In the end, the
Elegies are experiments in rhetoric, and whilst, for Donne as for Shakespeare, that does not automatically entail insincerity, it refuses to make sincerity the touchstone of excellence. We are seldom reminded as forcefully as by these poems that in the Latin poetry which underlies them the idea of rhetorical figuration is itself imaged as the application of cosmetics." —New Criterion

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

Short Forms of Reference for Donne’s Works
Abbreviations Used in the Commentary
Sigla for Textual Sources
Manuscripts Listed by Traditional Classification
Symbols and Abbreviations Used in the Textual Apparatus
General Introduction
Introduction to Volume 2
Texts and Apparatuses
Elegy 1 The Bracelet.
[Not that in color it was like thy haire]
Elegy 2 The Comparison.
[As the sweet sweate of roses in a still,]
Elegy 3. The Perfume.
[Once and but once found in thy companee]
Elegy 4. Jealousy.
[Found woman which wouldst haue thy husband dy]
Elegy 5. Oh let not me serve so.
[Oh let not me serve so, as those men serve]
Elegy 6. Natures Lay Ideott.
[Natures Lay Ideott, I tought thee to Love]
Elegy 7. Love's War.
[Till I haue peace with thee, warr other Men;]
Elegy 8. To his Mistress going to bed.
[Come Madame, come; All rest my powers defy;]
Elegy 9. Change.
[Allthough thy hand, and fayth and good works too]
Elegy 10. The Anagram.
[Marry and love thy Flauai for Shee]
Elegy 11. On his Mistris.
[By our first strange and fatal interview]
Elegy 12. His Picture.
[Here take my picture, though I bid farewell]
Elegy 13. The Autumnall.
[No springe, nor summer beautie, hath such grace]
Elegy 14. Loues Progresse.
[Whoe ever luves, if hee doe not propose]
Elegy 15. His Parting from Her.
[Since shee must goe, and I must mourne, some night]
Elegy 16. The Expostulation.
[To make the doubt cleare, that noe woman’s true]
Elegy 17. Variety.
[The heuens rejoyce in motion, why should I]
Sappho to Philnis.
[As the sweet sweate of roses in a still,]
Analysis of Early Printed Copies

Textual Introduction
Elegy. Iulia.
[Hearke newes, o Enuy, Thou shalt heare desiry’d]

A Tale of a Citizen and his Wife.

[I sing no harme, goodsooth, to any wight]



De Verstellingh

[Hebt Flavia vry lief, en trouwtse toe: haer wesen]

Aen sign Lief.

[Doe mijn Ziel saliger gescheedt stack in mijn'leden,]
General Commentary on the Elegies
Dates and Circumstances
General Commentary
Classical Borrowings and Literary Influences
Elegy as Genre
Elegy 1. The Bracelet.
Elegy 2. The Comparison.
Elegy 3. The Perfume.
Elegy 4. Jealousy.
Elegy 5. Oh let me not serve so.
Elegy 6. Natures Lay Ideott.
Elegy 7. Love’s War.
Elegy 8. To his Mistress going to bed.
Elegy 9. Change.
Elegy 10. The Anagram.
Elegy 11. On his Mistris.
Elegy 12. His Picture.
Elegy 13. The Autumnall.
Elegy 14. Loues Progresse.
Elegy 15. His Parting From Her.
Elegy 16. The Expostulation.
Elegy 17. Variety.
Sappho to Philaenis.
Elegy. Iulia.
Notes and Glosses
A Tale of a Citizen and his Wife
Notes and Glosses
Works Cited