The goal of this book is to make Milton's works more accessible and enjoyable by providing a comprehensive overview of the author's life, times and writings. It describes essential details from Milton's biography, explains some of the cultural and historical contexts in which he wrote, offers fresh analyses of his major pamphlets and poems, including Lycidas, Areopagitica and Paradise Lost, and describes in depth traditional and recent responses to his reputation and writings. Separate sections focus on important concepts or key passages from his major works to illustrate how readers can interpret and get excited about Milton's writings. This detailed and engaging introduction to Milton will help readers not only better understand the author's life and works but also better appreciate why Milton matters.
A comprehensive guide to the state of Milton studies in the early twenty-first century, bringing together an international team of thirty-five leading scholars. It both embodies the interest in Milton's political and religious contexts in the last generation and seeks to inaugurate a new phase in Milton studies through closer integration of the poetry and prose. It is split into eight sections: three on Milton's poetry, including eight essays on various aspects of Paradise Lost, and three on Milton's prose writings, several of which have been regarded as crucial documents in the history of liberalism. The opening essays explore what we know about Milton's biography and what it might tell us; the final essays offer interpretations of aspects of Milton's massive influence on later writers, including the Romantic poets.