W.F. Collier was a prolific writer of history texts for schools. His popular History of English Literature in a Series of Biographical Sketches (1861; reprinted a number of times, and extended to include a section on American literature) showed that a warmer response to Donne was becoming orthodox (A History of English Literature in a Series of Biographical Sketches (1861), 1891, p. 168).
[Collier delivers summary judgement upon Donne.]
He deserves remembrance as a very learned man, who began the list of what critics call the Metaphysical poets. Beneath the artificial incrustations which characterise this school, Donne displays a fine vein of poetic feeling.
In Gossip in a Library, Gosse reprinted a series of articles originally published in the Saturday Review, St James's Gazette, Black and White, and the Independent (New York). The articles were either 'retrospective reviews' of books Gosse possessed 'which seem less known in detail to modern readers than they should be', or cases 'where personal history of a well-known book seems worth detaching from our critical estimate of it'. His article on Donne, titled 'Death's Duel', is an account of Donne's last days and his final sermon before James I, on the text of the words from the sixty-eighth psalm: 'And unto God the Lord belong the issues of death.' This was subsequently published as Death's Duel, with a reproduction of the upper