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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $18.00
  • November 2010
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-97987-9
  • 704 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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Milton's Selected Poetry and Prose

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John Milton (Author), Jason P. Rosenblatt (Editor, Georgetown University)


Milton’s Selected Poetry and Prose presents the major poetic (excluding Paradise Lost) and prose works along with supporting materials necessary for in-depth study. Together, the Norton Critical Editions of Paradise Lost (ed. Gordon Teskey, 2005) and Milton’s Selected Poetry and Prose are the essential texts for studying John Milton.

This Norton Critical Edition of Milton’s Selected Poetry and Prose includes “Lycidas”—widely considered the greatest short poem in English—the great tragedy Samson Agonistes, the masque Comus, the brief epic Paradise Regained, and eighteen sonnets as well as other poems. It also contains the complete text of five of Milton’s major prose works, among them Areopagitica and The Doctrine of Discipline and Divorce. Each major work is accompanied by an individual introduction, and all works have ample explanatory annotations.

The major biblical sources that inspired Milton’s writing are reprinted, along with fourteen scholarly interpretations of the major texts. From the wealth of commentary on Milton’s poetry and prose, the editor has chosen those works that can be studied and appreciated by the greatest number of readers, including essays that can easily be paired for discussion in the classroom. Contributors include Anthony Hecht, William Kerrigan, Mary Nyquist, Stanley Fish, Barbara K. Lewalski, John Carey, and Sharon Achinstein, among others.

A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.


    Preface and Acknowledgments

    Abbreviations Used in the Notes

    English Poems

    • On the Morning of Christ's Nativity
    • A Paraphrase on Psalm 114
    • On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough
    • From A Vacation Exercise in the College
    • The Passion
    • On Time
    • Upon the Circumcision
    • At a Solemn Music
    • On Shakespeare
    • L'Allegro
    • Il Penseroso
    • Arcades
    • A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle [Comus]
    • Lycidas
    • On the New Forcers of Conscience under the Long Parliament
    •  A Paraphrase of Psalm 6

    The English Sonnets

    • Sonnet I ("O nightingale")
    • Sonnet VII ("How soon hath Time")
    • Sonnet VIII ("Captain or colonel")
    • Sonnet IX ("Lady that in the prime")
    • Sonnet X ("Daughter to that good Earl")
    • Sonnet XI ("A book was writ of late")
    • Sonnet XII ("I did but prompt the age")
    • Sonnet XIII To Mr. H. Lawes, on his Airs
    • Sonnet XIV ("When Faith and Love")
    • Sonnet XV ("Fairfax, whose name in arms")
    • Sonnet XVI ("Cromwell, our chief of men")
    • Sonnet XVII ("Vane, young in years")
    • Sonnet XVIII On the Late Massacre in Piedmont
    • Sonnet XIX ("When I consider how my light is spent")
    • Sonnet XX ("Lawrence, of virtuous father")
    • Sonnet XXI ("Cyriack, whose grandsire")
    • Sonnet XXII ("Cyriack, this three years' day")
    • Sonnet XXIII ("Methought I saw my late espoused saint")

    Paradise Regained

    • The First Book
    • The Second Book
    • The Third Book
    • The Fourth Book

    Samson Agonistes

    Latin Poems

    • (Newly Translated in Verse and Annotated by William Shullenberger)
    • Elegy V: On the Advent of Spring
    • Ad Patrem (To His Father)
    • Damon's Epitaph

    Prose Treatises

    • From An Apology for Smectymnuus
    • The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce
    • Of Education
    • Areopagitica
    • The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates
    • The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth

    Biblical Sources

    • Judges 13-16
    • Psalm 6
    • Psalm 114
    • Matthew 20
    • Matthew 25
    • Luke 4


    • Anthony Hecht - Lizards and Snakes
    • Georgia B. Christopher - Milton's "Literary" Theology in the Nativity Ode
    • Stephen Booth and Jordan Flyer - Milton's "How Soon Hath Time": A Colossus in a Cherrystone
    • David Norbrook - The Politics of A Masque [Comus]
    • William Kerrigan - The Root-Bound Lady in Comus
    • William Haller - Puritan Milton and "Lycidas"
    • Donald M. Friedman - "Lycidas": The Swain's Paideia
    • Mary Nyquist - The Genesis of Gendered Subjectivity in the Divorce Tracts and in Paradise Lost
    • Stanley Fish - Driving from the Letter: Truth and Indeterminacy in Milton's Areopagitica
    • Laura Lunger Knoppers - Paradise Regained and the Politics of Martyrdom
    • Barbara K. Lewalski - "With New Acquist of True Experience": Paradise Regained
    • John Carey - A Work in Praise of Terrorism? September 11 and Samson Agonistes
    • Sharon Achinstein - Samson Agonistes and the Drama of Dissent
    • John Rogers - The Secret of Samson Agonistes

    John Milton: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography

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