Milton and the Making of Paradise Lost (Hardback)William Poole (author)
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Milton and the Making of Paradise Lost tells the story of John Milton's life as England's self-elected national poet and explains how the single greatest poem of the English language came to be written.
In early 1642 Milton--an obscure private schoolmaster--promised English readers a work of literature so great that "they should not willingly let it die." Twenty-five years later, toward the end of 1667, the work he had pledged appeared in print: the epic poem Paradise Lost. In the interim, however, the poet had gone totally blind and had also become a controversial public figure--a man who had argued for the abolition of bishops, freedom of the press, the right to divorce, and the prerogative of a nation to depose and put to death an unsatisfactory ruler. These views had rendered him an outcast.
William Poole devotes particular attention to Milton's personal situation: his reading and education, his ambitions and anxieties, and the way he presented himself to the world. Although always a poet first, Milton was also a theologian and civil servant, vocations that informed the composition of his masterpiece. At the emotional center of this narrative is the astounding fact that Milton lost his sight in 1652. How did a blind man compose this staggeringly complex, intensely visual work? Poole opens up the epic worlds and sweeping vistas of Milton's masterpiece to modern readers, first by exploring Milton's life and intellectual preoccupations and then by explaining the poem itself--its structure, content, and meaning.
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Number of pages: 350
Dimensions: 230 x 160 mm
A readable and learned introduction to the creation and meaning of Paradise Lost.--Joseph Rosenblum"Library Journal" (09/01/2017)
The book displays such an extraordinary level of learning...Poole's book may well become what he shows Paradise Lost soon became: a classic.--Neil Forsyth"Times Literary Supplement" (03/27/2018)
Poole offers an authoritative, and accessible, introduction to Milton's life and an engaging examination of the process of composing Paradise Lost...Poole's book is required reading for seasoned Milton scholars and students serious about the study of Milton.--P. E. Phillips"Choice" (08/01/2018)
William Poole proves to be a genial, learned, and intelligent guide to the origins, contexts, structures, themes, and significance of Milton's great epic. Milton and the Making of Paradise Lost is a pleasure to read!--Stephen M. Fallon, University of Notre Dame