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  • Published: 15 February 2008
  • ISBN: 9780679642534
  • Imprint: Random House US Group
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 1408
  • RRP: $89.99
Categories:

The Complete Poetry And Essential Prose Of John Milton



John Milton is, next to William Shakespeare, the most influential English poet, a writer whose work spans an incredible breadth of forms and subject matter. The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton celebrates this author’s genius in a thoughtfully assembled book that provides new modern-spelling versions of Milton’s texts, expert commentary, and a wealth of other features that will please even the most dedicated students of Milton’s canon. Edited by a trio of esteemed scholars, this volume is the definitive Milton for our time.

In these pages you will find all of Milton’s verse, from masterpieces such as Paradise Lost–widely viewed as the finest epic poem in the English language–to shorter works such as the Nativity Ode, Lycidas,, A Masque and Samson Agonistes. Milton’s non-English language sonnets, verses, and elegies are accompanied by fresh translations by Gordon Braden. Among the newly edited and authoritatively annotated prose selections are letters, pamphlets, political tracts, essays such as Of Education and Areopagitica, and a generous portion of his heretical Christian Doctrine. These works reveal Milton’s passionate advocacy of controversial positions during the English Civil War and the Commonwealth and Restoration periods.

With his deep learning and the sensual immediacy of his language, Milton creates for us a unique bridge to the cultures of classical antiquity and medieval and Renaissance Christianity. With this in mind, the editors give careful attention to preserving the vibrant energy of Milton’s verse and prose, while making the relatively unfamiliar aspects of his writing accessible to modern readers. Notes identify the old meanings and roots of English words, illuminate historical contexts–including classical and biblical allusions–and offer concise accounts of the author’s philosophical and political assumptions. This edition is a consummate work of modern literary scholarship.

Praise
“Over the coming months, [John Milton’s] 400th anniversary will be celebrated in many different ways, but it is highly unlikely that any of the tributes he receives will do as much for him as the appearance of the Modern Library edition of his collected poetry and selected prose. The edition is a model of its kind, well designed and attractively produced. There are scholarly but unintimidating footnotes and helpful introductions to the major works. Spelling and punctuation have been modernized -- a difficult decision but the right one….A great deal has been packed in, but Milton has still been left room to breathe. The whole enterprise is meant to be reader-friendly, and it succeeds.” — The Wall Street Journal

“This magnificent edition gives us everything we need to read Milton intelligently and with fresh perception. You could take it to a desert island, or just stay home and further your education in a great writer.”
–William H. Pritchard, Amherst College

“For generations of readers Milton has been the measure of both eloquence and nobility of mind. For the next generation this new Modern Library volume will be the standard: it is meticulously edited, full of tactful annotations that set the stage for his work and his times, and it brings Milton, as a poet and a thinker, vividly alive before us.”
–Robert Hass

“Years ago I began a series of poems about Milton and his daughters. Ever since, I have been combing through Milton’s poems and prose for those moments when the poet would turn and speak to the poet in me. It is in the new Kerrigan-Rumrich-Fallon edition that I now find prompt rejoinders to questions, ready clarifications of problems, and a more intimate dimension of that formidable adjective Miltonic.”
–Richard Howard

  • Published: 15 February 2008
  • ISBN: 9780679642534
  • Imprint: Random House US Group
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 1408
  • RRP: $89.99
Categories:

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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