The Text of Goodf and John Donne’s Itinerary in April 1613

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Margaret Maurer
Dennis Flynn


Two manuscript copies of John Donne’s poem entitled in the first edition of his poems “Goodfriday, 1613. Riding Westward” came to light in the 1970s, both in the hand of Nathaniel Rich, an acquaintance of Donne and a member of a family with whom Donne had other connections. This essay expands on early analysis of these manuscripts to argue for their importance. The versions of the poem they convey are coherent and substantially different from its received text, and geographical indications in their headings are compatible with a 1613 journey Donne may have made in the company of Rich himself or someone Rich knew. In relation to the canonical version of Donne’s poem, these two manuscripts seem to record a revising mind at work, possibly Rich’s, conceivably that of Donne himself.


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