Edited by William Kerrigan, John Rumrich, and Stephen M. Fallon
The legendary author of Paradise Lost and other poems was also a superb and provocative prose writer. Culled from Modern Library’s definitive The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, this indispensable collection, authoritatively annotated and updated for this new volume, now includes selections from Milton’s Commonplace Book and the complete text of The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates in addition to Milton’s letters, pamphlets, political tracts, and essays. Milton tackles diverse subjects and takes controversial positions, including notorious defenses of divorce and protests against censorship. With expert analysis, a chronology of the author’s life, clean layouts, and a comprehensive index, The Essential Prose of John Milton is an invaluable keepsake—a book bound to be a revelation for all readers of this monumental author.
“Meticulously edited, full of tactful annotations that set the stage for his work and his times, and bringing Milton, as a poet and a thinker, vividly alive before us.”—Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States
About the Author
John Milton (1608–74), the great English poet, is best known for his epic masterpiece, Paradise Lost. In addition to writing brilliant verse, he was a master of polemical prose. Milton was a private tutor and, during the Interregnum, the Secretary for Foreign Tongues in Oliver Cromwell’s government.
William Kerrigan’s previous books include The Sacred Complex: On the Psychogenesis of Paradise Lost, for which he won the James Holly Hanford Award of the Milton Society of America. A former president of the Milton Society, he has earned numerous distinctions from that group, including its award for lifetime achievement. He is professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts.
John Rumrich is the author of Matter of Glory: A New Preface to Paradise Lost and Milton Unbound: Controversy and Reinterpretation. An award-winning editor and writer, he is Thaman Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches early modern British literature.
Stephen M. Fallon is the author of Milton’s Peculiar Grace: Self-Representation and Authority and Milton Among the Philosophers: Poetry and Materialism in Seventeenth-Century England, winner of the Milton Society’s Hanford Award. A recipient of the Milton Society’s lifetime achievement award, he is the John J. Cavanaugh Professor in the Humanities at the University of Notre Dame.
Gordon Braden (translator) is Linden Kent Memorial Professor of English at the University of Virginia and co-author, with William Kerrigan, of The Idea of the Renaissance.
Praise for The Essential Prose of John Milton…
Praise for The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton
“The editors succeed gloriously, meeting the needs of the whole spectrum, from general readers to advanced students. A modernized text, one sensitive to Milton’s poetic rhythm, illuminates both the author’s meaning and artistry. This is a beautiful edition.”—Marina Favila, James Madison University
“A remarkable combination of scholarly rigor and sensitivity to literary values, expressed in prose of exemplary clarity and extraordinary grace.”—Edward W. Tayler, Columbia University