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John Milton (1) [1608–1674]

This page covers the author of Paradise Lost.

For other authors named John Milton, see the disambiguation page.

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John Milton, English scholar and classical poet, is one of the major figures of Western literature. He was born in 1608 into a prosperous London family. By the age of 17, he was proficient in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Milton attended Cambridge University, earning a B.A. and an M.A. before secluding himself for five years to read, write and study on his own. It is believed that Milton read evertything that had been published in Latin, Greek, and English. He was considered one of the most educated men of his time. Milton also had a reputation as a radical. After his own wife left him early in their marriage, Milton published an unpopular treatise supporting divorce in the case of incompatibility. Milton was also a vocal supporter of Oliver Cromwell and worked for him. Milton's first work, Lycidas, an elegy on the death of a classmate, was published in 1632, and he had numerous works published in the ensuing years, including Pastoral and Areopagitica. His Christian epic poem, Paradise Lost, which traced humanity's fall from divine grace, appeared in 1667, assuring his place as one of the finest non-dramatic poet of the Renaissance Age. Milton went blind at the age of 43 from the incredible strain he placed on his eyes. Amazingly, Paradise Lost and his other major works, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, were composed after the lost of his sight. These major works were painstakingly and slowly dictated to secretaries. John Milton died in 1674. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Paradise Lost
… (more)
Paradise Lost 11,877 copies, 95 reviews
The Complete Poetry of John Milton 2,140 copies, 17 reviews
Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained 2,063 copies, 8 reviews
Paradise Lost and Other Poems 956 copies, 2 reviews
The Major Works 367 copies, 3 reviews
The Portable Milton 362 copies, 1 review
Britannica Great Books: Milton 345 copies, 1 review
Areopagitica 311 copies, 6 reviews
Paradise Regained 270 copies, 4 reviews
Selected Poems 209 copies
Samson Agonistes 192 copies, 1 review
Paradise Lost: Books I and II 152 copies, 1 review
John Milton: Selected Prose 116 copies, 1 review
L'Allegro and Il Penseroso 61 copies, 1 review
Paradise Lost: A Graphic Novel (Original author) 60 copies
Milton 48 copies
Prose Writings 48 copies, 1 review
Milton's Prose Writings 33 copies, 2 reviews
Milton's prose 33 copies
Milton's Poems 10 copies
Milton 9 copies
AREOPAGITICA & OTHER TRACTS 8 copies, 1 review
Milton 8 copies
Eikonoklastes 7 copies
Milton's sonnets (Author) 7 copies, 1 review
Milton's Minor Poems 6 copies, 1 review
Of Education 3 copies
The History of Britain 2 copies, 1 review
Poems 2 copies
Poems 2 copies
Paradise lost; a concordance (Contributor) 1 copy
Paradise Lost - Abridged 1 copy, 1 review
Various 1 copy
Works 1 copy
Four poems 1 copy
Ljutsifer 1 copy
One Hundred and One Famous Poems (Contributor, some editions) 1,738 copies, 17 reviews
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (Contributor, some editions) 846 copies, 6 reviews
The Metaphysical Poets (Contributor) 844 copies
The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis (Contributor) 469 copies, 11 reviews
A Treasury of the World's Best Loved Poems (Contributor) 453 copies, 4 reviews
Seventeenth-Century Prose and Poetry (Author, some editions) 194 copies, 2 reviews
The genius of the early English theater (Contributor) 152 copies, 2 reviews
The Oxford Book of Villains (Contributor) 126 copies
Major British Writers, Volumes I and II (Contributor) 112 copies, 1 review
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (Contributor) 99 copies, 1 review

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Short biography
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.
John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English poet and intellectual who served as a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under its Council of State and later under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse, and widely considered to be one of the greatest works of literature ever written.

Writing in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime; his celebrated Areopagitica (1644), written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship, is among history's most influential and impassioned defences of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. His desire for freedom extended into his style: he introduced new words (coined from Latin and Ancient Greek) to the English language, and was the first modern writer to employ unrhymed verse outside of the theatre or translations.

William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author", and he remains generally regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language", though critical reception has oscillated in the centuries since his death (often on account of his republicanism). Samuel Johnson praised Paradise Lost as "a poem which...with respect to design may claim the first place, and with respect to performance, the second, among the productions of the human mind", though he (a Tory and recipient of royal patronage) described Milton's politics as those of an "acrimonious and surly republican". Poets such as William Blake, William Wordsworth and Thomas Hardy revered him.

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