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Bentley College Professor and Colleagues To Publish Prose Letters of John Donne with Support from National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

December 19, 2006

Bentley College English Professor Dennis Flynn will work with colleagues from North Carolina State University and Virginia Tech to compile a scholarly edition of the prose letters of English poet John Donne. The project is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was subcontracted from North Carolina State University.

Although John Donne is a major English author, there is no scholarly edition of his unusually numerous surviving letters in prose," Flynn says. "This edition will provide an indispensable basis for the study of Donne's letters that has never existed, but has been required by many readers for more than a century."

The final product, Flynn adds, will provide, in one place, reliable texts, informative commentary, and high-quality reproductions of artifacts now available only through consulting widely dispersed printed and archival resources -- including many rare book libraries and some relatively inaccessible private collections.

The project will include the work-in-progress of deceased scholar Isaac Avi Shapiro, of the University of Birmingham in England, whose life-long undertaking was to publish a scholarly edition of Donne's letters.

"Shapiro's commentary for the letters, in addition to his extensive accumulation of biographical notes, will be extremely useful for our book," says Flynn. "His acknowledged body of work will be folded into ours."

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