Catalogue


John Milton : life, work, and thought /
Gordon Campbell, Thomas N. Corns.
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2008.
description
xiii, 488 p. : ill., maps, ports. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0199289840 (hbk.), 9780199289844 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2008.
isbn
0199289840 (hbk.)
9780199289844 (hbk.)
catalogue key
6657253
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2008-11-01:
The 400th anniversary of the birth of the great English poet John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, has brought a resurgence of popular interest, especially in his radical social and religious views. Leading Miltonists Campbell (Renaissance studies, Univ. of Leicester, U.K.) and Corns (English, Bangor Univ.; The Cambridge Companion to English Poetry) bring two lifetimes of scholarship to this new biography of the poet. Their work is informed by a careful reexamination of the vast archival sources coupled with a thorough knowledge of the changing historiographic understanding of 17th-century historical, social, political, and religious currents. Neither hagiography nor sensationalism, the book places Milton's life and work into the shifting contexts of his times, tracing the stages of his radicalization. Campbell and Corns's biography is more historical than literary in focus. An essential contribution for Miltonists and those interested in the period; it is also accessible to general readers.-T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2008-11-03:
There is renewed interest in Milton, particularly his political life, this year, the 400th anniversary of his birth. This substantial biography, seamlessly written by the editors of the Oxford Milton, draws chiefly on documentary evidence and an easy familiarity with the 17th-century English scene. As a prodigy scholar, pamphleteer, government translator on the international stage and the blind (probably from glaucoma) bard of the Bible, Milton found himself astride a world of hardening views, as it spiraled in political and spiritual transition. He wrote on divorce, freedom of expression and the tenure of kings; his De Doctrina Christiana, not unearthed until the 1820s, is an essential work of systematic theology. The authors set Milton's imaginative life against this backdrop, stretching from Shakespeare, to whom Milton's father may have been loosely connected, to Dryden's ingenious staging of Paradise Lost in couplets. With nearly 100 pages of notes and bibliography, this is a no-nonsense contribution to our understanding of a genius who, in many ways, is hardly remote from our times. 25 b&w illus., maps. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 2009-05-01:
Many recent biographies of Milton have suffered because their authors, taking for granted certain unquestioned assumptions made by earlier biographers, did not sufficiently revisit the vast scholarship on Milton and the English Civil War. In their impressive, rigorous biography, Campbell (Univ. of Leicester) and Corns (Bangor Univ.) reexamine the writings of Milton and the records of his life, interrogating traditional notions of radicalism, republicanism, and Puritanism and offering a more complex and nuanced account of the man and his times. Tracing his development from an ideologically conformist youth through his religious and political radicalization, the authors reveal a more humane and conflicted Milton than has yet been recognized. In so doing, they provide the fullest portrait yet of this brilliant, controversial, and ambitious politician, theologian, and artist. Informed by an exhaustive engagement with a staggering amount of primary material, and anchored by impeccable scholarly acumen, this biography supersedes all recent accounts, including Barbara Lewalski's outstanding The Life of John Milton: A Critical Biography (CH, Oct'01, 39-0789). Further, the authors' insights into Milton's thought are on par with those of A. D. Nuttall's on Shakespeare (in Shakespeare the Thinker, CH, Nov'07, 45-1342). Summing Up: Essential. All readers. D. Pesta University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Reviews
Review Quotes
An exceptionally readable and interesting relation of the poet's life that makes some fascinating observations about the work.
Mavellous new biography...This is an enthralling, rewarding read.
"This substantial biography, seamlessly written by the editors of the Oxford Milton, draws chiefly on documentary evidence and an easy familiarity with the 17th-century English scene. With nearly 100 pages of notes and bibliography, this is a no-nonsense contribution to our understanding of a genius who, in many ways, is hardly remote from our times."--Publisher's Weekly
"This substantial biography, seamlessly written by the editors of the Oxford Milton, draws chiefly on documentary evidence and an easy familiarity with the 17th-century English scene. With nearly 100 pages of notes and bibliography, this is a no-nonsense contribution to our understanding of a genius who, in many ways, is hardly remote from our times."--Publishers Weekly "A magnificent achievement: anyone interested in the seventeenth century or its literature will enjoy it, eagerly read it through, and return to it again and again." --Milton Quarterly
"This substantial biography, seamlessly written by the editors of theOxford Milton, draws chiefly on documentary evidence and an easy familiarity with the 17th-century English scene. With nearly 100 pages of notes and bibliography, this is a no-nonsense contribution to our understanding of a genius who, in many ways, is hardly remote from our times."--Publishers Weekly "A magnificent achievement: anyone interested in the seventeenth century or its literature will enjoy it, eagerly read it through, and return to it again and again." --Milton Quarterly
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, November 2008
Publishers Weekly, November 2008
Choice, May 2009
Guardian UK, December 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This biography of Milton is based on 40 years of original research, and takes account of new thinking about 17th-century England. He is seen here as flawed, passionate, ruthless, and ambitious, as well as one of the most accomplished writers of the time and author of the most influential narrative poem in English.
Long Description
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 more sceptically notions like puritanism, republicanism, radicalism, and dissent. A more complex story emerges, of Milton's culturally rich but ideologically conformist early decades, and of hisradicalisation during the later years of Laudianism. We track the internal dynamics of English puritanism in the 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 towardsthe completion of his greatest project, Paradise Lost, and his final years were ones of creative fulfilment 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 as the most eloquent prose writer and most accomplished poet of the age. A more human Miltonappears in these pages, flawed, self-contractory, self-serving, arrogant, passionate, ruthless, ambitious, and cunning, as well as the literary genius who achieved so much.
Main Description
Drawing on insightful new findings in the study of seventeenth-century history and in a more nuanced exploration of notions like Puritanism, republicanism, radicalism, and dissent, this book sheds fresh light on the writings, the thought, and the life of poet John Milton, whose career spanned one of the most turbulent periods in English history. A more human Milton appears in these pages, a Milton who is flawed, self-contradictory, self-serving, arrogant, passionate, ruthless, ambitious, and cunning. He is also among the most accomplished writers of the period, the most eloquent polemicist of the mid-century, and the author of the finest and most influential narrative poem in English, Paradise Lost, which the book examines in detail. The authors also show how, amid the chaos sparked by the shifting political circumstances of the period, Milton emerged as a major political thinker and a significant systematic theologian. Working through Milton's polemical and imaginative works, the book unravels the evolution of his thought as he moves from a culturally advanced but ideologically repressive young manhood, to his struggle for a new reformation of the church and a defense of regicide and republicanism, and finally to his thinking about how to retain ideological integrity in the threatening context of the Restoration. The authors also examine his final years--years of creative fulfillment and renewed political engagement. What Milton achieved in the face of crippling adversity, blindness, bereavement, and political eclipse, remains wondrous. Here is a fascinating biography of this towering literary figure--the first new serious study in forty years--one that profoundly challenges the received wisdom about one of England's leading poets and thinkers.
Main Description
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 creative fulfilment and renewed political engagement. Amid thediscontinuities 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 as the most eloquent prose writer and most accomplishedpoet 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.
Main Description
Written by two of the world's leading Milton scholars, widely praised as "illuminating" ( Times Literary Supplement ), "seamlessly written ( Publishers Weekly ), and "a book of permanent value" ( Literary Review ), and winner of the Milton Society's James Holly Hanford Award, this magnificent biography sheds fresh new light on the writings, the thought, and the life of poet John Milton. A more human Milton appears in these pages, a Milton who is flawed, self-contradictory, self-serving, arrogant, passionate, ruthless, ambitious, and cunning. He is also among the most accomplished writers of the period, the most eloquent polemicist of the mid-century, and the author of the finest and most influential narrative poem in English, Paradise Lost , which the book examines in detail. What Milton achieved in the face of crippling adversity, blindness, bereavement, and political eclipse, remains wondrous. Here is a fascinating biography of this towering literary figure--the first new serious study in forty years--one that profoundly challenges the received wisdom about one of England's leading poets and thinkers.
Main Description
Written by two of the world's leading Milton scholars, widely praised as "illuminating" (Times Literary Supplement), "seamlessly written (Publishers Weekly), and "a book of permanent value" (Literary Review), and winner of the Milton Society's James Holly Hanford Award, this magnificent biography sheds fresh new light on the writings, the thought, and the life of poet John Milton. A more human Milton appears in these pages, a Milton who is flawed, self-contradictory, self-serving, arrogant, passionate, ruthless, ambitious, and cunning. He is also among the most accomplished writers of the period, the most eloquent polemicist of the mid-century, and the author of the finest and most influential narrative poem in English, Paradise Lost, which the book examines in detail. What Milton achieved in the face of crippling adversity, blindness, bereavement, and political eclipse, remains wondrous. Here is a fascinating biography of this towering literary figure--the first new serious study in forty years--one that profoundly challenges the received wisdom about one of England's leading poets and thinkers.
Table of Contents
Introduction
1608-1632
Childhood
St Paul's School
Cambridge: the undergraduate years
Cambridge: the postgraduate years
1632-1639
Hammersmith
Horton
Italy
1639-49
The Crisis of Government
The First Civil War
The Road to Regicide
1649-1660
The Purged Parliament
The Protectorate
From the Death of Oliver Cromwell to the Restoration
1660-67
Milton in 1660
Surviving the Restoration
Plague, Fire and iParadise Lost
The Sunlit Uplands
1667 and after
Posthumous Life and iNachlass
Bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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