The Early Modern Commons

Michael Ullyot

Recent Posts

John Donne and the Sonnet Problem

26 January 2019

What makes a sonnet? For most early modern examples, the answer is clear: a 14-line rhyming poem, its form either Shakespearean (three quatrains and a couplet) or Petrarchan (an octave...

Homepage of Yore

21 January 2019

Back in the olden days of 2006, I was applying for tenure-track jobs. I spent every available minute on those applications: anxiously revising my letter of application or preparing...

The OED maketh an exact man

16 January 2019

“Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.” So writes Sir Francis Bacon in his essay “Of Studies” (1597). What exactly he...

”The Past is a Foreign Country”

13 January 2019

“… they do things differently there.” So goes a very quotable aphorism by the otherwise obscure novelist named L. P. Hartley. There are things about its people, their...