"This Book of Starres"

Learning to Read George Herbert
James Boyd White
A fascinating, accessible book that takes the reader on an intellectual and spiritual journey


"This Book of Starres" is one of those all-too-rare books in which an author's love of someone's work—in this case, the seventeenth-century English poet George Herbert—leads to a journey of exploration.

Herbert's poetry presents a special set of challenges: It is to the modern ear archaic, difficult in thought and structure, and entirely theological in character. Yet no poet is more deeply admired by those who know him well. "This Book of Starres" is meant to engage the reader in a process of reading by which this verse can be seen to be vivid and alive. It is the record of one person's life-changing involvement with the poetry of George Herbert; in this it is about not only how, but why we read great poetry.

James Boyd White is Hart Wright Professor of Law, Professor of English, and Adjunct Professor of Classical Studies, University of Michigan.

Praise / Awards

  • "A real pleasure. . . . Reading this book was like revisiting a country I thought I knew well with a guide who could show me all kinds of delights I had missed in my previous sojourns. . . . A terrific, engaging book."
    —Michael Schoenfeldt, author of Prayer and Power: George Herbert and Renaissance Courtship

  • "It is a joy to experience Herbert's poetry in the company of James Boyd White, whose affinity for the work is always convincing and seems at times preternatural. 'This Book of Starres' is a necessary pleasure: all readers of poetry, whether expert or inexpert, will find it enriching."
    —Alice Fulton

  • ". . . both a delight to read, and one of the most instructive exercises in literature and theology I have read for a long time. . . . Herbert emerges as one of the greatest, a writer to test and change the imagination, the very way in which we think about the world and that which is beyond it."
    —Literature and Theology

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 320pp.
  • 18 B&W photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1995
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08337-4

Add to Cart
  • $35.00 U.S.