John Donne’s Marriage Letters in the Folger Shakespeare Library

4 September 2023 By

John Donne’s Marriage Letters in the Folger Shakespeare Library

John Donne’s Marriage Letters in the Folger Shakespeare Library

John Donne, one of the most renowned poets in history, is not only known for his beautiful verses but also for his passionate and intimate marriage letters. These letters, preserved in the Folger Shakespeare Library, offer a unique glimpse into the personal life of this literary genius.

Exploring the Collection

The Folger Shakespeare Library houses a remarkable collection of John Donne’s marriage letters. These letters, written to his beloved wife, provide a captivating insight into their relationship and the emotions that fueled Donne’s poetic brilliance.

Intimacy and Passion

Donne’s marriage letters are filled with an unparalleled sense of intimacy and passion. His words convey a deep love and desire for his wife, showcasing a side of Donne that is often overshadowed by his poetic works. Reading these letters, one can’t help but be moved by the raw emotions expressed by this literary giant.

A Glimpse into Donne’s Mind

Donne’s marriage letters also offer a unique opportunity to delve into the mind of the poet. Through his letters, we gain insights into his creative process, his thoughts on love and marriage, and his reflections on the world around him. It is a treasure trove for scholars and enthusiasts alike.

Unveiling the Romantic

While Donne is primarily known for his metaphysical poetry, his marriage letters reveal a different side of his writing. They showcase his ability to express deep emotions and capture the essence of love in a more personal and direct manner. It is a testament to his versatility as a writer.

Preserving History

The Folger Shakespeare Library plays a crucial role in preserving these invaluable letters. By housing and maintaining this collection, they ensure that future generations can continue to explore and appreciate the personal life of John Donne, shedding light on the man behind the poetry.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are these letters available for public viewing?
  2. Yes, the marriage letters of John Donne are available for public viewing at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

  3. How many letters are there in the collection?
  4. The collection consists of over 50 letters exchanged between John Donne and his wife.

  5. Can I make copies of the letters?
  6. Due to their delicate nature, the original letters cannot be copied. However, digital reproductions are available for research purposes.

  7. Are there any other personal writings of John Donne in the collection?
  8. Yes, the Folger Shakespeare Library also houses a selection of Donne’s personal diaries and notebooks.


John Donne’s marriage letters in the Folger Shakespeare Library offer a captivating glimpse into the personal life of this literary genius. Through his intimate and passionate words, we gain a deeper understanding of Donne’s emotions and thoughts. It is a collection that showcases the multifaceted nature of his writing and preserves his legacy for generations to come.