Also known as The Authorised Version, the 1611 translation of the Christian Bible which is today most commonly referred to as the King James Version is perhaps the only book to have had a greater influence on the English language than the works of William Shakespeare. For a book ostensibly intended to bring the Good News of God’s love and peace it has a history rich in controversy, conflict and bloodshed, because the King James Version (or KJV) was far from the first translation of the Bible into the English language. Continue reading “On Whose Authority? The King James Bible Part 1: Family Tree”
Licence my roving hands, and let them go,
Before, behind, between, above, below.
O my America! My new-found-land,
My kingdom, safelist when with one man mann’d,
My mine of precious stones, My Empery,
How blest am I in this discovering thee!
To enter in these bonds, is to be free;
Then where my hand is set, my seal shall be.
Full nakedness, all joys are due to thee[.]
– ‘To His Mistress Going to Bed’
Following the familiar pattern of crappy-childhood-produces-great-literary talent, John Donne (born London, England in 1572) lost his father, also named John, when he was just four. John the Younger gets bonus crappy-childhood points for being born into a recusant Roman Catholic family (i.e. Roman Catholics who refused to convert to Anglicanism or attend Anglican church services) at a time when this could get you killed – as it did, in fact, do for a number of his extended family members. Continue reading “Poet Profile: John Donne (1572-1631)”