Dr Cave studies the relationship between the traditions of personal devotion in sixteenth-century France and the poetry which flourished at the end of the century and the beginning of the seventeenth. It was a poetry of intense personal commitment, preoccupied with penitence and confession, the vanity of life, the imminence of death, the meaning of the Incarnation and the Passion; often verging on mysticism and mingling of the sensual, the intellectual and the spiritual in a manner often thought typical of the baroque. It was part of a European movement, and there is much here to interest the student of the early seventeenth-century sensibility. A comparable book on English literature is Louis Martz's The Poetry of Meditation, but the lines of Dr Cave's enquiry are new. The book has a fourfold interest: to readers concerned with French literature; to those with particular interest in the traditions of devotion; to those concerned with comparative studies in the baroque period, and to students of rhetorical analysis.