Louise I. Guiney (1861-1920) was an American, who, after working as a postmistress and freelance writer for newspapers and magazines in America, emigrated to England at the turn of the century and settled in Oxford as a poet, researcher and writer. She wrote biographies and edition of Matthew Arnold, James Clarence Mangan and Henry Vaughan, poems on Edmund Campion, a book on Charles II, and a collection of recusant poetry published posthumously in 1938. She was a devout Catholic whose religious views were strongly evident in her writing. In 1919 she contributed an article to the Month, the journal of the Society of Jesus, on Gerard Manley Hopkins, whose poetry she had known before Robert Bridges' edition of 1918. The following year she wrote an article, again for the Month, with the explanatory title 'Donne as a Lost Catholic Poet' (Month 136 (July-December 1920), 13-19).
Guiney begins by suggesting that 'some one…should write a…scientific and authentic study of Dr John Donne as a Catholic: preferably should the author of it be of the same faith'. This in small compass she sets out to do, combining both general analysis of the Catholic and Protestant sentiment in Donne's verse and sermons and describing his family's connections with Catholicism. She states that
every Catholic who is an attentive reader, every psychologist brought in contact with the interesting and peccable characters of that English age, will agree that Donne, wherever his utterance is devotional, shows himself a child (and not a strayed child) of the old Church.
[While his prose]
both in the controversial works expected from one in his position, and in the sermons which entranced his sermon-loving generation with their sombre music, can hardly be called lacking in antagonism to Catholic doctrine, or innuendo against Catholic practice…his poetry is never merely Anglican. Placed beside George