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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 12,951 copies, 104 reviews
The Complete Poetry of John Milton 2,340 copies, 20 reviews
Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained 2,186 copies, 8 reviews
Paradise Lost and Other Poems 1,014 copies, 2 reviews
The Major Works 395 copies, 3 reviews
The Portable Milton 384 copies, 1 review
Britannica Great Books: Milton 368 copies, 1 review
Areopagitica 336 copies, 6 reviews
Paradise Regained 300 copies, 4 reviews
Selected Poems 222 copies
Samson Agonistes 208 copies, 1 review
Paradise Lost: Books I and II 144 copies, 1 review
John Milton: Selected Prose 123 copies, 1 review
Paradise Lost: A Graphic Novel (Original author) 74 copies
L'Allegro and Il Penseroso 66 copies, 1 review
Prose Writings 54 copies, 2 reviews
Milton 48 copies
Milton's prose 34 copies
Milton's Prose Writings 33 copies, 2 reviews
The prose of John Milton 29 copies, 1 review
Milton's Poems 23 copies
Milton 13 copies
Milton 10 copies
AREOPAGITICA & OTHER TRACTS 8 copies, 1 review
Eikonoklastes 7 copies
Milton's Minor Poems 6 copies, 1 review
Milton's sonnets (Author) 6 copies, 1 review
Of Education 3 copies
Paradise Lost 2 copies
Poems 2 copies
Poems 2 copies
The History of Britain 2 copies, 1 review
Milton's Paradise Lost 1 copy, 1 review
Paradise lost; a concordance (Contributor) 1 copy
Four poems 1 copy
Works 1 copy
Various 1 copy
Ljutsifer 1 copy
Paradise Lost - Abridged 1 copy, 1 review
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Contributor, some editions) 30,150 copies, 167 reviews
One Hundred and One Famous Poems (Contributor, some editions) 1,834 copies, 17 reviews
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (Contributor) 1,175 copies, 9 reviews
The Metaphysical Poets (Contributor) 901 copies
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (Contributor, some editions) 882 copies, 7 reviews
The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis (Contributor) 516 copies, 11 reviews
A Treasury of the World's Best Loved Poems (Contributor) 495 copies, 4 reviews
The Penguin Book of Renaissance Verse: 1509-1659 (Contributor) 274 copies, 1 review
Seventeenth-Century Prose and Poetry (Author, some editions) 204 copies, 2 reviews
Doré's Illustrations for "Paradise Lost" (Contributor) 201 copies, 4 reviews
The genius of the early English theater (Contributor) 161 copies, 2 reviews
The Oxford Book of Villains (Contributor) 133 copies
A Literary Christmas: An Anthology (Contributor) 119 copies, 2 reviews
Major British Writers, Volumes I and II (Contributor) 119 copies, 1 review
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (Contributor) 105 copies, 1 review
The Penguin Book of Dragons (Contributor) 77 copies
Wolf's Complete Book of Terror (Contributor) 74 copies, 2 reviews
Comus (Original Story) 73 copies, 3 reviews
A Book of Narrative Verse (Contributor) 60 copies, 1 review
Puritanism and Liberty (Contributor) 48 copies
Poems of Faith (Contributor) 40 copies, 1 review
Classic Essays in English (Contributor) 22 copies
Classic Hymns & Carols (Contributor) 13 copies
Poetry anthology (Contributor, some editions) 6 copies
Popular Poetry - Popular Verse Volume I (Contributor) 5 copies, 1 review
The children's own treasure book (Contributor) 2 copies

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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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