John Milton (1608-1674) was an English poet, polemicist, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost. He was a scholarly man of letters, a polemical writer, and an official serving under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval in England, and his poetry and prose reflect deep convictions and deal with contemporary issues, such as his treatise condemning licensing, Areopagitica. As well as English, he wrote in Latin and Italian, and had an international reputation during his lifetime. After his death, Milton's critical reception oscillated, a state of affairs that continued through the centuries. At an early stage he became the subject of partisan biographies, such as that of John Toland from the nonconformist perspective, and a hostile account by Anthony à Wood. Samuel Johnson wrote unfavourably of his politics as those of "an acrimonious and surly republican"; but praised Paradise Lost "a poem which, considered with respect to design may claim the first place, and with respect to performance, the second, among the productions of the human mind". William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author". He remains generally regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language and as a thinker of world importance."
Areopagitica: A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of Englandby John Milton
In 1796, William Hayley named John Milton the "greatest English author," high praise considering Milton (1608-1674) lived during the Age of Shakespeare. Regardless of whether Milton is truly the greatest English author, few question his legacy as one of the greatest writers of the English language and one of the most important philosophers of modern Europe. Living during a tumultuous period that saw the English Civil War and the rise of Oliver Cromwell, Milton witnessed firsthand the political and religious conflicts that swept not just England but much of Europe during the 17th century. Not surprisingly, these became themes in much of his works, including the epic poems Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, which are considered not just his masterpieces but some of the greatest poems ever written.
- CreateSpace Publishing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.09(d)
Meet the Author
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >