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Faithful Labourers: A Reception History of Paradise Lost, 1667-1970
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Faithful Labourers: A Reception History of Paradise Lost, 1667-1970: Volume I: Style and Genre; Volume II: Interpretative Issues

John Leonard


This book surveys and evaluates three centuries of criticism of Milton’s Paradise Lost. Volume one attends to questions of style and genre, while volume two traces six distinguishable debates (about Satan, God, innocence, the Fall, sex, and Milton’s universe). The first three chapters examine the longstanding debate about Milton’s grand style and the question of whether it forfeits the native resources of English. Early critics saw Milton as the pre-eminent poet of ’apt Numbers’ and ’fit quantity’, whose verse is ’apt’ in the specific sense of achieving harmony between sound and sense; twentie ... More

Keywords: milton, sublimity, epic, satan, god, theodicy, innocence, fall, sex, universe, astronomy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199666553
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199666553.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Leonard, author
Professor, Department of English, University of Western Ontario