© 2004

George Herbert

A Literary Life


Part of the Literary Lives book series (LL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxv
  2. Cristina Malcolmson
    Pages 1-19
  3. Cristina Malcolmson
    Pages 21-51
  4. Cristina Malcolmson
    Pages 53-76
  5. Cristina Malcolmson
    Pages 77-96
  6. Cristina Malcolmson
    Pages 145-150
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 151-175

About this book


This volume replaces the traditional image of George Herbert as meditative recluse with a portrait of the poet as engaged throughout his life with the religion, politics and society of his time. Instead of an isolated genius living in retreat from the world, Herbert appears as a man writing public verse, active within an important social circle, and committed to nationalistic Protestantism. The book attends to the poetic brilliance of his verse as well as the institutions and contexts that influenced him: the upper class coterie, Cambridge University, and the Church of England.


England lyric poet

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Bates CollegeUSA

About the authors

CRISTINA MALCOLMSON is Professor of English at Bates College in the USA and has taught at Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley. She has published Heart-Work: George Herbert and the Protestant Ethic, edited Renaissance Poetry, and co-edited with Professor Mihoko Suzuki Palgrave Macmillan's Debating Gender in Early Modern England, 1500-1700.

Bibliographic information


...[a] lucid and learned biography... [a] challenging, iconoclastic representation of the poet as an active, interested and morally flawed participant in ecclesiastical machinations and political intrigue. - David Hawkes, The Times Literary Supplement