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Thomas MallonDonne’s definitive biographer, R. C. Bald, warned in 1970 against the temptation to make much inference from scant evidence in writing the poet’s life. In particular, he noted that “too many attempts have been made to extract autobiography from the love poems.” Stubbs has by no means entirely avoided that temptation, but a reader’s confidence in him remains firm. He sets a lively, plausible scene and sustains a high level of exactitude and style in his phrasing. His book has juice and, best of all, a kind of fearlessness in approaching the “frequently convoluted” emotions of a poet who possessed, if not English literature’s greatest imagination, quite possibly its greatest intellect.
— The New York Times