Hats off, please, to Katherine Rundell, who has written a book about John Donne that can stand toe-to-toe with John Carey, something I would not have thought achievable until I read Rundell’s first page, then her second, then her third, and so compulsively on to the end. If I didn’t have a book of my own to worry about I would have simply turned to the front and started again when I finished. Every page is interesting, witty, informative, has a crackling sentence to light it up, or all four; Rundell has the ability to move smoothly between academic narrative and sophisticated millennial speak. Her heroine when she was young was
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