8th February 2021

Library of Love


Celebrate Valentine’s Day with one of the greatest love poets in English – John Donne.

This is an online event hosted by Unique Media. Bookers will be sent a link in advance giving access and will be able to watch at any time for 48 hours after the start time..

Name: Library of Love
Where: Online
Price: Full Price: £5.00
Member: £0.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546


The poetry of John Donne speaks of love and lovers with dazzling clarity, even though it’s almost 400 years old. This event marking Valentine’s Day celebrates the Library’s acquisition of the Melford Hall manuscript, a rare seventeenth-century volume of poetry by Donne, saved for the nation. .

Learn about the mysterious leading light of the metaphysical poets John Donne: imprisoned husband and Member of Parliament, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, contemporary of Shakespeare and father of twelve.

Join British Library curators Dr Alex Lock and Dr Andrea Clarke, alongside cultural historian Dr Fern Riddell, as they explore the varieties of love in Donne and present other items from the collections dealing in all facets of love and romance.

Dr Andrea Clarke is Lead Curator of Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts at the British Library. She co-curated the Library’s exhibition Henry VIII: Man and Monarch (2009) and Leonardo da Vinci: A Mind in Motion (2019), and is the lead curator of the Library’s forthcoming exhibition on Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. She is the author of Love Letters: Intimate Correspondence Between Famous Lovers (2011) and Tudor Monarchs: Lives in Letters (2017).

Dr Alexander Lock is Curator of Modern Archives and Manuscripts at the British Library. He has worked on major British Library exhibitions ‘Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy’ and ‘Harry Potter: A History of Magic’. His most recent book Catholicism, Identity and Politics in the Age of Enlightenment was published by Boydell and Brewer in 2016.

Dr Fern Riddell is a historian and expert in sex, suffrage and entertainment in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. She advised on dramas for the BBC and ITV2 and appeared as an expert for Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky Arts and more. She hosts The History Channel’s Podcast series #NotWhatYouThought and presented BBC 4’s A Victorian Scandal: The Rudest Book in Britain.

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