About the Author
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
--from Meditation XVII
British metaphysical poet JOHN DONNE (1572-1631), renowned for his satires on English society, wrote this prose work in the latter part of his life, after he became an Anglican priest.
In addition to the writer's 1624 collection of meditations, debates with God, and prayers on the human condition--particularly earthly physical sickness and health--this volume contains the 1631 work "Death's Duel," a sermon said to be his own funeral oration, which he preached shortly before his own death.
Readers of 17th-century literature, religious devotionals, and ponderers of human mortality are sure to find something profound in this fascinating, famous work.