Robert Whalen, an English professor at Northern Michigan University, has been awarded a $250,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Scholarly Editions Grant. The money will be used to support lead editor Whalen and his co-editor, Christopher Hodgkins of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), in producing George Herbert: Complete Prose, with Latin and Greek Verse.
A once-in-several-generations project, this scholarly edition will provide a foundational resource for Herbert studies. When completed, it will include all known manuscripts and early editions of Herbert’s works; original-spelling transcriptions linked to high-resolution images of each page captured directly from the source; edited texts, partially modernized; translations of the Latin and Greek works; and scholarly apparatus that includes a full set of textual and critical annotations. Constructed as an XML database, the finished product will yield both a digital version accessible and searchable through conventional web browsers and a manuscript for print publication. Together with generous support from NMU and UNCG, the award funds all aspects of production over a three-year period.
“George Herbert (1593-1633) was a near contemporary of John Donne and William Shakespeare, public orator at Cambridge University and a priest in the pre-Civil War Church of England,” said Whalen. “He is best known, however, as one of the ‘metaphysical’ poets and author of The Temple, widely considered one of the finest volumes of devotional verse in the language. A poet’s poet, his influence as a master of form and technique has reached across the centuries to inform the works of Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Seamus Heaney and Geoffrey Hill, to name but a few of his artistic progeny.”
Complete Prose, with Latin and Greek Verse is a major expansion of Whalen’s and Hodgkins’s previous edition of Herbert’s English poetry, The Digital Temple. This earlier project, also funded by the NEH, was published in 2013 by University of Virginia Press and selected that year by the American Library Association’s Choice as one of its Outstanding Academic Titles.
Editors: Whalen can be reached at 227-2678