Milton's long poems "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained" were recently serialised on Radio 4, beautifully read/performed by such theatrical luminaries as Sir Ian McKellen, Simon Russell Beale, and Frances Barber - but they formed only a small part of the poet's prodigious output. From 1629 to 1673, he produced a steady flow of works, many of them still well-known, at least by their titles: "Samson Agonistes", "Il Penseroso", "Lycidas". As well as poems, he also wrote dramas and much prose (though collections of the latter are somewhat rare).
John Milton (1608–1674) was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and his writings reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self-determination, and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day. Writing in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, and his celebrated "Areopagitica" (1644), written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship, is among history's most influential and impassioned defences of free speech and freedom of the press.
Our book is a handsome example, bound in dark green leather with extensive decoration in gilt and debossing. The exterior shows signs of wear consistent with its age - some wear at corners and edges, and at top & bottom of the spine, with a few small, lightish marks here & there - but the gilt is generally bright (slightly faded on the spine), and all page edges are gilded also. Inside, the endpapers are of shiny pale buff paper, and the front fep carries a beautiful presentation inscription, ink-written, and dated 1859. The binding is firm, pages are generally clean and clear, but with some brownish staining (particularly the title/half-title/frontispiece). The tissue guards to the frontispiece and all but one of the other 7 illustrations are present, as is the dark-green silk page marker.