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Milton's History of BritainRepublican Historiography in the English Revolution$
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Nicholas von Maltzahn

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198128977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128977.001.0001

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Milton’s History (1670) and Mr John Miltons Character of the Long Parliament and Assembly of Divines (1681)

Milton’s History (1670) and Mr John Miltons Character of the Long Parliament and Assembly of Divines (1681)

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Milton’s History (1670) and Mr John Miltons Character of the Long Parliament and Assembly of Divines (1681)
Source:
Milton's History of Britain
Author(s):

Nicholas von Maltzahn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128977.003.0001

By working back from the separate publication of the History of Britain (1670) and the Character of the Long Parliament and Assembly of Divines (1681), it is possible to reconstitute a fuller History of Britain that takes to the heart of Milton's republican thought at the crisis of the English Revolution. As so often happens, the political turmoil of the latter end of the 17th century provides vital information about a mid-century text. The political reasons for publishing the 1681 Character needs to be explored in order to understand the History. In particular, the publication of the Character needs to be considered in light of the events of 1681: only then do its omissions and other misleading features, especially its editorial preface, come into focus. The Digression was indeed written ‘Unbrib'd’. The misgivings about the Character are explored. Importance of determining the original context for the History and the Digression in the revolutionary years of 1648–9 is stated.

Keywords:   History of Britain, Milton, 17th century, John Miltons, English Revolution, Digression

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