The Life of John Milton: A Critical Biography / Edition 1

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John Milton's many and various works include magnificent poems, polemics, history, theology, and treatises on political, ecclesiastical, educational, and social issues. No writer before Milton defined himself so self-consciously as an author - both in prose and in poetry - as his God-given vocation.

In her detailed account of Milton's life and career, Barbara Lewalski provides a close analysis of his prose and poetry, focusing on the development of his ideas and his art. She shows how Milton, even as a young poet, constructed himself as a new kind of author, commanding astonishing resources of learning and artistry to develop a radical politics, reformist poetics, and an inherently revolutionary prophetic voice.

This insightful portrayal of Milton's life, thought, and writing, as well as his contribution to public life, is an important, stimulating, and timely contribution to Milton scholarship.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lewalski's is easily the best single-volume life of Milton to date, and it is hard to imagine its being significantly bettered. Every reader will benefit from its insight and compression, and it will be the biography to which I direct my students."
Times Higher Education Supplement

"Arguably the most readable of modern Milton biographies, it reshapes our understanding of Milton the man, the thinker, political and religious activist, husband, parent, friend is certain to be a classic among Milton studies" Reference Reviews

"The Life of John Milton . . . combines lucidity with its formidable erudition."
Terry Eagleton, The Observer Books of the Year, 2001

"A rigorous, up-to-date, yet surprisingly readable account of Milton's life and work… anyone concerned with the poet or the period will have to possess this book."
The Independent

"[Lewalski] has produced an outstanding biography, one that is reliable and readable. [...] It will be vaulable, not only to Milton specialists and students of English literature but to anyone who wants to learn about Milton's life and work."
Virginia Quarterly Review

"Lewalski's volume is immensely useful. In the process of discussing Milton's life and works, she gives the reader a believable figure facing major events and also the everyday business of moving through life. Such an appealing and readbale portrayal is welcome."
Renaissance Quarterly

"As a biography of Milton, Lewalski's Life is likely to remain the definitive work for decades to come." Church Times

"The Life of John Milton is the magnum opus of Barbara K Lewalski, one of the leading Miltonists of the past half-century. [...] As an introduction to Milton's life and work it is likely to remain unequalled for years to come - that rare thing, a work of reference to be read with profit and pleasure from cover to cover."

"Her achievements scarcely need endorsement. Unsurprising, she once more surefootedly picks her way through the polemical prose while writing richly about the major poetry." Milton Quarterly

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    she knows her Milton

    I don't think there's a better Milton scholar at present. If you need to learn 17th century English literature, Milton in particular, she's the one to go to.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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