One Flesh: Paradisal Marriage and Sexual Relations in the Age of Milton

Paperback | February 1, 1994

byJames Grantham Turner

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This is an acclaimed study of the understanding of sex and gender in the early modern period, examining in particular Milton's interventions in these debates.Focusing on contemporary readings of the Eden-myth in Genesis, the book shows that the reconstruction of Paradisal marriage raised many problems of interpretation. How can the cryptic and contradictory elements of Genesis be reconciled? Was sexuality the `True Paradise' or the destroying serpent?Since Genesis pronounces knowledge and imagination `evil', how can the interpreter arrive at the truth? Is Paradise Lost forever, or can we `force through the Fire-sword' and regain the Edenic state? These questions, perennial sources of contradiction in the Christian tradition, come to a head inthe turmoil of Milton's lifetime, and they were particularly urgent for the poet himself, caught up in the problems of a failed marriage but unwilling to give up his vision of Paradisal sexuality.James Grantham Turner's accomplished and incisive analysis of Milton's confrontation with his precursors and contemporaries established him as a monumental but divided figure - torn between radical and conservative mentalities, between eroticism and hatred of the flesh, and between patriarchal andegalitarian conceptions of Paradisal marriage.

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From the Publisher

This is an acclaimed study of the understanding of sex and gender in the early modern period, examining in particular Milton's interventions in these debates.Focusing on contemporary readings of the Eden-myth in Genesis, the book shows that the reconstruction of Paradisal marriage raised many problems of interpretation. How can the cr...

James Grantham Turner is at University of California, Berkeley.

other books by James Grantham Turner

Schooling Sex: Libertine Literature and Erotic Education in Italy, France, and England 1534-1685
Schooling Sex: Libertine Literature and Erotic Educatio...

Hardcover|Jul 10 2003

$293.26 online$405.00list price(save 27%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:338 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.83 inPublished:February 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019818249X

ISBN - 13:9780198182498

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`essential reading ... his skilful presentation of the history of sexual attitudes contains much that is new.' Studies in English Literature