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John Milton: A Short Introduction / Edition 1

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Overview

In this compelling first volume in the Blackwell Introductions to Literature series, Roy Flannagan, editor of The Milton Quarterly, provides a readable and uncluttered critical account of a complicated and sophisticated author, and his poetry and prose.

  • Puts John Milton under the microscope, using the still-evolving critical perspectives of the last fifty years
  • Looks at Milton’s life, and the cultural background to his work, as well as examining his writing
  • Considers how and why Milton’s work has endured the centuries to educate, entertain and intrigue so many generations of readers
  • Ideal for the reader falling in love with Milton’s poetry and prose, who longs to know more about what people think about the poetry, the man or the historical context
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Flannagan is eminently qualified to explain the greatness of English poet John Milton - and he's marvelously successful in achieving his goal[...]Fresh, fluent and witty, Flannagan's treatment is thoroughly informed by the insights of current literary insights and is rendered without jargon." Library Journal

“This is historically informed criticism delivered with a light and generally assured touch and, most successfully, Flannagan retains a clear focus on disclosing what is remarkable about Milton, what makes him worth the modern readers’ attention … Flannagan has produced a helpful, lively - and intelligently illustrated - little book, to which students may with confidence be directed.” Milton Quarterly

Library Journal
A founder and longtime editor of the Milton Quarterly and editor of the Riverside Milton, with 32 years' experience teaching at Ohio University, Flannagan is eminently qualified to explain the greatness of English poet John Milton and he's marvelously successful in achieving his goal. Focusing on the oral qualities of Milton's art, Flannagan argues that he brought to his work an unequaled learning, humor, and skill that stretch and ultimately break aesthetic, religious, and political conventions, making him still relevant. Organized chronologically and centered on Milton's major works, this introduction is not a handbook to be consulted but a book to be read so that one can understand Milton's organic development. Fresh, fluent, and witty, Flannagan's treatment is thoroughly informed by the insights of current literary theory and is rendered without jargon. Of particular interest are his remarks on Adam and Eve in terms of ecocriticism. While he assumes some familiarity with Milton, Flannagan's discussion is accessible to the general reader yet offers insights to the specialist. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries. T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Roy Flannagan

began what was to become the Milton Quarterly in 1967. He has been the President of the Milton Society of America, and he followed C. S. Lewis and Northrop Frye as Honored Scholar of the Society in 2001. Editor of the Riverside Milton, he is also President of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. After 32 years at Ohio University, he has taken the position of Scholar in Residence at the University of South Carolina at Beaufort.

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Table of Contents

1. Mercantile Milton.

2. Milton's Private and Public Education.

3. Educated Milton: John Milton, Gentleman.

4. Milton and Shakespeare.

5. Milton the Omnivorous Reader.

6. Political Milton.

7. Place in History.

8.The Prodigy.

9. Milton the Friend.

10. Milton Abroad.

11. First-married Milton.

12. Milton the Divorcer.

13. Infamous Milton.

14. "The Great Milton".

15. Milton the Egoist.

16. The Myth of the Unattractive Milton.

17. Physical Appearance.

18. Class-consciousness.

19. Milton's Sense of Humor.

20. Milton's First Great Poem.

21. "L'Allegro".

22. "Lycidas".

23. Elegies in Latin and English.

24. Decorum, Genre, and Modes: the Nativity Ode.

25. Sonnets.

26. The Serious and Even the Puritan, Masque.

27. Arcades.

28. The Masque often known as Comus.

29. Musical Entertainment.

30. Fairy-tale Plot.

31. Politics.

32. Performance and Character.

33. The One Just Man, or Woman.

34. Against the Bishops.

35. The Reason of Church-Government.

36. Wonder Years.

37. Of Education.

38. Divorce as a Serious Subject.

39. Prose Masterpiece: Areopagitica.

40. The Blind Warrior.

41. Plans for Great Tragedies.

42. Milton's Theological Niche.

43. The Baroque in Space and Time.

44. Blindness.

45. Narrator.

46. Solitude, Patience, etc.

47. The One Just Man.

48. Free Will, Disturbing.

49. A Creative God.

50. "Satan, He's a Liar".

51. Satan, Sin, and Death.

52. Plot and Parallel Scenes.

53. Competitiveness.

54. Self-fashioning.

55. A Remarkable Memory.

56. Slow Reading, on Purpose.

57. Epic Similes.

58. Explication.

59. Etymology.

60. The Printing of Paradise Lost.

61. Imperialism.

62. Monarchy.

63. "Paradise Found".

64. The Plot of the Brief Epic.

65. Paradise Regain'd and the Problems of a Cold-seeming Son of God.

66. Problems of Presenting a Speaking Jesus.

67. The Son as Student.

68. Diminished Satan.

69. Epic Devices in Miniature.

70. Political Undertones.

71. Searches for Meaning in Epithets.

72. Socrates, the Biblical Job, etc.

73. Class Warfare.

74. Quiet Closure.

75. Unpretentious Poetic Style.

76. Samson Agonistes and the Problem of Dating.

77. The Plot of the Dramatic Poem.

78. The Agon or Struggle in Samson Agonistes.

79. Harapha, his Giantship.

80. The Temptations to Luxury or Idleness.

81. A Chorus You Can't always Believe.

82. Quiet Closure of the Tragedy and the Short Epic.

83. In the End, "One's country is where it is well with one.".

84. Aftermath: Milton's Influence.

Works Cited.

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