The Poetical Works of John Milton (Classic Reprint)

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Fb&c Limited, 2018. jan. 4. - 518 oldal
Excerpt from The Poetical Works of John Milton

Milton's original intention was to have visited Sicily and Greece, but he says, The sad news of civil war coming from England called me back; for I considered it disgraceful that, while my fellow-countrymen were fighting at home for liberty, I should be travelling abroad at ease for intellectual purposes. From Naples he returned to Rome, where he again spent two months, and arrived once more in Florence towards the end of February 1639. After a short excursion to Lucca, he set out for Venice, crossing the Apennines, and passing through Bologna and Ferrara. His residence in the island-built city was of short duration; there he shipped for England the rare and curious books which he had collected in his travels up and down the Peninsula, His course next lay through the fertile plains and famous towns of Lombardy, over the Pennine Alps, and along Lake Leman to Geneva, where he stayed for a week or two to enjoy the society of the most learned professor of theology, John Diodati, uncle of his friend Charles, who had just recently died. Resuming his homeward journey, he passed rapidly through France, and landed in England about the beginning of autumn, after an absence of fifteen months. During all his wanderings his conduct had been blameless - worthy of him who thought no man should dare to be a poet whose life was not itself a poem. I take God to witness, he solemnly affirms, that in all those places where so many things are considered law ful, I lived sound and untouched from all profligacy and vice, hav ing this thought perpetually with me, that though I might escape the eyes of men, I certainly could not the eyes of God.

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John Milton, English scholar and classical poet, is one of the major figures of Western literature. He was born in 1608 into a prosperous London family. By the age of 17, he was proficient in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Milton attended Cambridge University, earning a B.A. and an M.A. before secluding himself for five years to read, write and study on his own. It is believed that Milton read evertything that had been published in Latin, Greek, and English. He was considered one of the most educated men of his time. Milton also had a reputation as a radical. After his own wife left him early in their marriage, Milton published an unpopular treatise supporting divorce in the case of incompatibility. Milton was also a vocal supporter of Oliver Cromwell and worked for him. Milton's first work, Lycidas, an elegy on the death of a classmate, was published in 1632, and he had numerous works published in the ensuing years, including Pastoral and Areopagitica. His Christian epic poem, Paradise Lost, which traced humanity's fall from divine grace, appeared in 1667, assuring his place as one of the finest non-dramatic poet of the Renaissance Age. Milton went blind at the age of 43 from the incredible strain he placed on his eyes. Amazingly, Paradise Lost and his other major works, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, were composed after the lost of his sight. These major works were painstakingly and slowly dictated to secretaries. John Milton died in 1674.

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