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  • Published: 27 February 2003
  • ISBN: 9780140424393
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • RRP: $16.99

Paradise Lost




Paradise Lost's apparent ambivalence towards authority has led to intense debate about whether it manages to 'justify the ways of God to men' or exposes the cruelty of Christianity.

John Milton's celebrated epic poem exploring the cosmological, moral and spiritual origins of man's existence, Paradise Lost has been fully revised with an introduction by John Leonard in Penguin Classics.

In Paradise Lost Milton produced poem of epic scale, conjuring up a vast, awe-inspiring cosmos and ranging across huge tracts of space and time, populated by a memorable gallery of grotesques. And yet, in putting a charismatic Satan and naked, innocent Adam and Eve at the centre of this story, he also created an intensely human tragedy on the Fall of Man. Written when Milton was in his fifties - blind, bitterly disappointed by the Restoration and in danger of execution - Paradise Lost's apparent ambivalence towards authority has led to intense debate about whether it manages to 'justify the ways of God to men', or exposes the cruelty of Christianity.

John Leonard's revised edition of Paradise Lost contains full notes, which elucidates Milton's biblical, classical and historical allusions and discuss his vivid, highly original use of language and blank verse.John Milton (1608-1674) spent his early years in scholarly pursuit. In 1649 he took up the cause for the new Commonwealth, defending the English revolution both in English and Latin - and sacrificing his eyesight in the process. He risked his life by publishing The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth on the eve of the Restoration (1660). His great poems were published after this political defeat.

If you enjoyed Paradise Lost, you might like Dante's Inferno, also available in Penguin Classics.

  • Published: 27 February 2003
  • ISBN: 9780140424393
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • RRP: $16.99

About the author

John Milton

John Milton was born on 9 December 1608. He studied at St Paul's School and then at Christ's College, Cambridge. He wrote poetry in Latin and Italian as well as English and travelled in Italy between 1638 and 1639. He married Mary Powell in 1642 but their relationship quickly broke down and they lived apart until 1645. They had four children, three daughters and a son who died in infancy. During the Interregnum after the execution of Charles I, Milton worked for the civil service and wrote pamphlets in support of the new republic. He also began work on his masterpiece, Paradise Lost, as early as 1642. His first wife died in 1652 and he married again in 1656, although his second wife died not long afterwards in 1658. When the monarchy was restored in 1660 Milton was arrested but was released with a fine. In 1663 he married his third wife, Elizabeth Minshull and he is also thought to have finished Paradise Lost in this same year. He published the companion poem, Paradise Regained, in 1671.John Milton died on 8 November 1674.

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