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Courts, Jurisdictions, and Law in John Milton and His Contemporaries (Paperback)
  • Courts, Jurisdictions, and Law in John Milton and His Contemporaries (Paperback)
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Courts, Jurisdictions, and Law in John Milton and His Contemporaries (Paperback)

(author)
£22.00
Paperback 216 Pages
Published: 03/11/2020
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John Milton is widely known as the poet of liberty and freedom. But his commitment to justice has been often overlooked. As Alison A. Chapman shows, Milton's many prose works are saturated in legal ways of thinking, and he also actively shifts between citing Roman, common, and ecclesiastical law to best suit his purpose in any given text. This book provides literary scholars with a working knowledge of the multiple, jostling, real-world legal systems in conflict in seventeenth-century England and brings to light Milton's use of the various legal systems and vocabularies of the time-natural versus positive law, for example-and the differences between them.

Surveying Milton's early pamphlets, divorce tracts, late political tracts, and major prose works in comparison with the writings and cases of some of Milton's contemporaries-including George Herbert, John Donne, Ben Jonson, and John Bunyan-Chapman reveals the variety and nuance in Milton's juridical toolkit and his subtle use of competing legal traditions in pursuit of justice.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226729299
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 327 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Chapman has written an excellent book, a fit companion for her award-winning Legal Epic. Courts, Jurisdictions, and Law is engaging and informative, economically expressed without sacrificing clarity or detail, and everywhere displaying expert knowledge of early modern law and of Milton's body of work. With her twin studies, Chapman has secured a place at the fore of recent scholarship on early modern literature and law." * Modern Philology *
"Alison Chapman's Courts, Jurisdictions, and Law in John Milton and His Contemporaries. . . represents a crucial addition to not only Milton studies but to seventeenth-century legal studies in England." * Comitatus *
"[An] outstanding new monograph... Chapman's book proves beyond reasonable doubt that legal issues played an enduring part in Milton's thinking, and gives a detailed sense of how they did so. It is clearly written and well-informed on a complex subject. The book will be valuable to Miltonists, and to scholars working at the intersection of early modern law and literature." * Review of English Studies *
"Chapman's new book, Courts, Jurisdictions, and Law in John Milton and His Contemporaries, extends her prior examinations and makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how Milton approached the existing patchwork of English legal systems." * New Rambler Review *
"Well suited to an intersectional field of law and literature that places questions of race, gender and religion at its center." * Seventeenth-Century News *
"Chapman's work is both highly original and exceptionally readable, bringing together imaginative engagement with legal language, convincing arguments, and refreshingly forthright responses to other scholars. She presents unfamiliar legal matters in lucid, sometimes witty prose and cautions her readers against importing modern assumptions into early modern English literature. Students and scholars of Milton will benefit enormously from her carefully developed contextualization of Milton's assumptions regarding jurisprudential fields, specific legal terms, and his own rhetorical practices." -- Mary Nyquist, University of Toronto
"With careful attention to legal language, Chapman pulls at the tensions between libel and defamation, convincingly showing Milton's continued interest in such questions. These are valuable new readings that explain several apparent tensions, and they show that Milton's legal orientation can account for many of the most oddly vituperative moments in his prose. This is a very welcome addition to Milton studies." -- Christopher Warren, Carnegie Mellon University
"Chapman considers the multiple, jostling, real-world legal systems in conflict in seventeenth-century England and brings to light the poet John Milton's use of the various legal systems and vocabularies of the time... Chapman highlights the variety and nuance in Milton's juridical toolkit and his subtle use of competing legal traditions in pursuit of justice." * Law & Social Inquiry *
"[This book] is not only an education in early modern law and in Miltonic rhetoric but also, in its acute exposition of the legalistic, if not authoritarian, bias of the great republican, Puritan, and libertarian, one of the best recent critical studies of Milton." * Milton Quarterly *

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