Robert Ellrodt's study of seven poets - springing from his wide-ranging three-volume work, Les Poetes metaphysiques anglais - challenges the postmodernist assumption that no definite or constant self can be traced in the works of a writer. Distinct modes of self-awareness, different emphases in the perception of time and space, and various ways of grasping the sensible and the spiritual, the human and the divine, jointly or separately characterize the minds of Donne and George Herbert, Crashaw and Vaughan, Lord Herbert, Marvell, and Traherne. Fundamental mental structures affect their attitudes to love, death, and God, and dictate their privileged modes of composition and expression. Without neglecting the relations between these individual traits and the general evolution of thought from classical antiquity to the Renaissance, or the immediate cultural environment in which each poet wrote, this critical study maintains the primacy of individual choice, of the 'unchanging self'. The book is not based on a theory, but on a close scrutiny of the characteristic interplay of personal modes of thought and sensibility.