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Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England$
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Blair Worden

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199230822

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230822.001.0001

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Milton in Journalism

Milton in Journalism

Chapter:
(p.195) 9 Milton in Journalism
Source:
Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England
Author(s):

Blair Worden

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230822.003.0010

As writers of propaganda, John Milton and Marchamont Nedham were not immediately answerable to the parliament which had assumed sovereignty in 1649. They wrote at the behest of its executive arm, the council of state, which also employed Milton to write and translate diplomatic correspondence. In the mid-winter of 1650–1, just before Politicus took up Milton's literary cause, a contest between John Bradshaw and Oliver Cromwell for the chancellorship of Oxford University was resolved in Cromwell's favour. The appointment was no merely ornamental one. Cromwell would make maximum use of the post to try to change the religious and political complexion of the university. If the learned Bradshaw shared Milton's views on educational reform and on the need to reform the universities, no doubt he would have done the same — but with fewer compromises with the forces of conservatism.

Keywords:   writers, propaganda, John Milton, Marchamont Nedham, parliament, Politicus, John Bradshaw, Oliver Cromwell, educational reform

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