John Milton: Life, Work, and Thought

Paperback | December 10, 2010

byGordon Campbell, Thomas N. Corns

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This book re-examines scrupulously the writings and the life records of John Milton, in the context of a proper understanding of the recent developments in seventeenth-century historiography. Milton's thought has often been too simply described. The approach here is to interrogate moresceptically notions like puritanism, republicanism, radicalism, and dissent. A more complex story emerges, of Milton's culturally rich but ideologically conformist early decades, and of his radicalisation during the later years of Laudianism. We track the internal dynamics of English puritanism inthe 1640s and the impact that has on his own convictions. In the 1650s Milton's thought and beliefs were reconciled to the role as public servant. In the 1660s a renewed confidence carried him towards the completion of his greatest project, Paradise Lost, and his final years were ones of creativefulfilment and renewed political engagement. Amid the discontinuities occasioned by shifting political circumstance, by the exigencies of polemical context, and the diversity of genres in which he wrote, Milton emerged as a major political thinker and significant systematic theologian, as well asthe most eloquent prose writer and most accomplished poet of the age. A more human Milton appears in these pages, flawed, self-contractory, self-serving, arrogant, passionate, ruthless, ambitious, and cunning, as well as the literary genius who achieved so much.

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This book re-examines scrupulously the writings and the life records of John Milton, in the context of a proper understanding of the recent developments in seventeenth-century historiography. Milton's thought has often been too simply described. The approach here is to interrogate moresceptically notions like puritanism, republicanism,...

Gordon Campbell is Professor of Renaissance Studies at University of Leicester. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He is a former chairman of the English Association and of the Society for Renaiss...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:512 pagesPublished:December 10, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199591032

ISBN - 13:9780199591039

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: 1608-16321. Childhood2. St Paul's School3. Cambridge: the undergraduate years4. Cambridge: the postgraduate yearsPart II: 1632-16395. Hammersmith6. Horton7. ItalyPart III: 1639-498. The Crisis of Government9. The First Civil War10. The Road to RegicidePart IV: 1649-166011. The Purged Parliament12. The Protectorate13. From the Death of Oliver Cromwell to the RestorationPart V: 1660-6714. Milton in 166015. Surviving the Restoration16. Plague, Fire and Paradise Lost17. The Sunlit UplandsPart VI: 1667 and after18. Posthumous Life and NachlassBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"An exceptionally readable and interesting relation of the poet's life that makes some fascinating observations about the work." --Advance praise from Philip Pullman