In Poets in their Time Barbara Everett brings her extraordinary ability to read closely and her intimate knowledge of the period to an examination of Donne, Milton, Marvell, Rochester, Pope, Keats, Browning, Eliot, Auden, and Philip Larkin. The implicit argument of these twelve essays is designed to show the way each poet remains an individual while interacting with the conditions of a particular historical context. `quite exceptionally good
... one of the finest collections of criticism for years ... It blends historical insight and critical perception with real originality' Frank Kermode, London Review of Books
`She has an acute ear for a poet's voice, both in the individual life and in the work as a whole. She convincingly hears the timbre of the sonnet-sequence in the sounds and silences of Keats' Odes and she catches Donne sounding both like a preacher and "a great frequenter of plays", neatly characterizing his tone as one of "amiable rancour" ... But an ear without a brain is not enough. Barbara Everett also shows a developed and fastidious historical imagination.' Tim Deveson, Times
Educational Supplement `it makes me feel like a donkey munching thistles. The prose in these critical studies is knotty but nourishing and each essay emphasises the essential
unfamiliarity of the well known. Jonathan Keats, Independent `the kind of thoughtful appreciation is that Donne, among others, would agree was worth waiting a few hundred years for.' Clive James, Observer
`The book has all the strengths and some of the weaknesses of traditional English poetry criticism, combining a hair-splittingly subtle approach to smaller issues with a resolutely commonsensical and even pedestrian approach to larger ones.'
Donne - a London poet; the shooting of the bears - poetry and politics in Andrew Marvell; the end of the big names - Milton's epic catalogues; rochester - the sense of nothing; Tibbles - a new life of Pope; Keats - somebody reading; Browning versions; the new style of "Sweeney Agonistes"; Auden askew; Philip Larkin - after symbolism; Larkin's Edens; poetry and soda.