Thomas Traherne was born in about 1637, in the city of Hereford. He entered Brasenose College, Oxford in 1653. After the Restoration he received Episcopal ordination in 1660. He held the living of Credenhill in Herefordshire until his death in 1674, and was buried in Teddington under the reading-desk in the church. Traherne published Roman Forgeries (1673) and Christian Ethicks (1675) during his lifetime but became better known during the twentieth century following a series of remarkable discoveries, including Select Meditation in 1964 and Commentaries of Heaven in 1982. Julia J. Smith read English at Somerville College, Oxford and is an independent scholar with a particular interest in the seventeenth century. She has published extensively on Traherne, his manuscripts and his biography.