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BORN in London, 1608, nine years after the birth of Cromwell and eight years before the death of Shakespeare. Took his Bachelor's degree in 1629 and his Master's degree in 1632 at Christ's College, Cambridge; Cromwell was at the same University, 1616-17. Wrote his most famous minor poems at his father's home at Horton in Buckinghamshire, 1632-8. Visited Italy, 1638–9. The next twenty years were devoted chiefly to serving the Commonwealth. Lost his eyesight about 1652. Paradise Lost did not appear till 1667. Milton died in 1674; two years later was produced Etheredge's The Man of Mode — the first good English Comedy of Manners - and the transition from the Puritan to the Restoration Period is complete.
FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES Diodati, Cyriack Skinner, Marvell; Vane, Cromwell.
OTHER CONTEMPORARIES Galileo, Mazarin, Bunyan, Dryden.
LIFE AND TIMES. — Masson's Life of John Milton Narrated in Connection with the Political, Ecclesiastical and Literary History of His Time. 6 vols. (Macmillan).
For the advanced student this book is invaluable as a storehouse of material. Better for the beginner are the shorter lives by Pattison (E. M. L.) and by Garnett (Gt. Wr.) The former is useful on the literary side; the latter on the political and religious. Green's • Puritan England' (being the 8th chapter of his Short History) may also be consulted with much profit.
TEXT. - Masson's (Macmillan). CRITICISM.– Addison; Spectator, Nos. 267, 273, 279, 285, 291, 297, 303, 309, 315, 321, 327, 333, 339, 345, 351, 357, 363, 369.
the fault of Addison's Miltonic criticism, once so celebrated (is that] it rests almost entirely upon convention.” Matthew Arnold.
Macaulay; Essay on Milton. — Astonishing as a piece of rhetoric, bin extremely superficial as criticism.
are De Quincey; Essay on Johnson's Life of Milton. Chiefly a correction of Jobw; son's prejudiced view.
the Emerson; Essays from the North Am. Rev.; John Milton. Dwells onisted heroic side of Milton's character.
sweet Bagehot; Literary Studies, Vol. I.; John Milton. Calls attention, noi
bejustly, to Milton's unlovely side, but is also appreciative and sympathetic.