Excerpt from The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates
To George Thomason, bookseller of the Rose and Crown in St. Paul's Church Yard, friend of Rushworth, Calamy, and Milton, and keen Observer of religious and political affairs, we owe the British Museum col lection of tracts which bears his name. From 1640 to 1661 Thomason collected each day's output of tracts, broadsides, newspapers, books, even fly-leaves of doggerel verse, and stored them away for the cd ification Of future ages. Few of the publications rela ting to the Civil War, the Commonwealth, and the Restoration eluded his vigilance. As the ﬂood of this voluminous period bore in Upon him, he carefully noted the exact date of each publication in his cata logue, and often wrote out the full name of the author where the treatise or book gave only the initials. On this account, Thomason is the sole authority for the dates of first and second editions of many books now regarded as classics of English literature.
Among eight publications which came into Thoma son's hands from the presses of London on Feb. 13, 1649, one small quarto, the work of a friend, must have been noted by him with Special pleasure. The entry was as follows The Tenure Of Kings and Magistrates: proving that it is Lawfull for any who have the Power to call to account a Tyrant or wicked King and after due conviction to depose, and put him to death. The Author, J. M. [i. E. John Milton.] Prin ted by Matthew Simmons (13 A year later.
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About the Author
As a young student, John Milton (1608-1674) dreamed of bringing the poetic elocution of Homer and Virgil to the English language. Milton realized this dream with his graceful, sonorous Paradise Lost, now considered the most influential epic poem in English literature. In sublime poetry of extraordinary beauty, Paradise Lost has inspired generations of artists and their works, ranging from the Romantic poets to the books of J. R. R. Tolkien.