Saturday, October 14, 2006

John Milton

Johnson was, understandably, reluctant to be Milton's biographer, remarking that there already existed plenty of biographies of the poet, based on much "minute enquiry"; but another was thought necessary to preserve the uniformity of his Lives of the Poets. He wrote it in 1779, in six weeks, obviously against the grain; and despite its cantankerousness it remains the best biography. With due respect to the scholars who have conducted so much more "minute enquiry," no other is so brilliantly written, scathing yet sourly deferential. --Frank Kermode, Heroic Milton: Happy Birthday, The New York Review of Books, February 26, 2009, review of John Milton: Life, Work, and Thought, by Gordon Campbell and Thomas N. Corns, Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer, and Patriot, by Anna Beer, and Is Milton Better Than Shakespeare? by Nigel Smith (via Arts & Letters Daily)

Recommended reading:
by John Milton at Reading Rat

Criticism (articles, essays, reviews):

Thanks to his abundant self-esteem, Milton is able to give us his breathtaking vision of heaven, earth and hell, of creation, Eden and human history. --Steven Fallon, At 400, Milton still hard to pigeonhole, The Australian, August 9, 2008

Heavenly muse, review of Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer, and Patriot by Anna Beer, The Economist, February 28, 2008

Stanley Fish’s Milton, review by Edward T. Oakes of How Milton Works, by Stanley Fish, First Things, November 2001


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