Miltons Angels: The Early-Modern Imagination

Paperback | March 1, 2013

byJoad Raymond

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Milton's Paradise Lost, the most eloquent, most intellectually daring, most learned, and most sublime poem in the English language, is a poem about angels. It is told by and of angels; it relies upon their conflicts, communications, and miscommunications. They are the creatures of Milton'snarrative, through which he sets the Fall of humankind against a cosmic background.Milton's angels are real beings, and the stories he tells about them rely on his understanding of what they were and how they acted. While he was unique in the sublimity of his imaginative rendering of angels, he was not alone in writing about them. Several early-modern English poets wrote epicsthat explore the actions of and grounds of knowledge about angels. Angels were intimately linked to theories of representation, and theology could be a creative force. Natural philosophers and theologians too found it interesting or necessary to explore angel doctrine. Angels did not disappear inReformation theology: though centuries of Catholic traditions were stripped away, Protestants used them in inventive ways, adapting tradition to new doctrines and to shifting perceptions of the world. Angels continued to inhabit all kinds of writing, and shape the experience and understanding of theworld.Milton's Angels: The Early-Modern Imagination explores the fate of angels in Reformation Britain, and shows how and why Paradise Lost is a poem about angels that is both shockingly literal and sublimely imaginative.

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Milton's Paradise Lost, the most eloquent, most intellectually daring, most learned, and most sublime poem in the English language, is a poem about angels. It is told by and of angels; it relies upon their conflicts, communications, and miscommunications. They are the creatures of Milton'snarrative, through which he sets the Fall of hu...

Joad Raymond is Professor of English Literature at the University of East Anglia. He was educated at Howardian High school in Cardiff, the University of East Anglia and Oxford University, and taught at Oxford and the University of Aberdeen before taking up his post at UEA. He is the author of The Invention of the Newspaper: English Ne...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:488 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.68 inPublished:March 1, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199657718

ISBN - 13:9780199657711

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsConventionsAbbreviationsIllustrations1. Introduction: Protestant angels, poets, the imaginationPart one: Understanding angels2. Angelographia: Writing about angels3. Angelology: Knowledge of angels4. Angels, Writing and Radical Speculation, 1640-16605. Conversations with Angels: The Pordages and their Angelical World6. The Fleshy Imagination and the Word of God7. Spiritual Gifts: Angels, Inspiration, and ProphecyPart two: Milton's angels8. Can Angels Feign?9. Look Homeward Angel: Angelic guardianship and nationhood10. Angels in Iaradise Lost11. The Natural Philosophy of Angels12. 'With the tongues of angels': Angelic ConversationsPart three: Literature and Representation13. Dryden's Fall: Dreams, Angels, Freewill14. Conclusion: Angels and Literary Representation

Editorial Reviews

"Raymond carries his readers along on a tide of enthusiasm, learning, and sympathy for his subject" --John Spurr, The Journal of Theological Studies