In The Reason of Church Government, a thirty-three-year-old John Milton writes of his hope that by labour and intent study... joyn'd with the strong propensity of nature, I might perhaps leave something so written to aftertimes, as they should not willingly let it die. Even the young Milton, committed as he was to achieving a place in the annals of poetic history, might have been surprised by the strenuous efforts in aftertimes to keep his legacy alive. The fifteen essays that comprise this collection focus, from varied perspectives, on Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and A Mask, poems that have attracted sustained critical attention. Several consider shorter poems, such as the Nativity Ode, The Passion, Upon the Circumcision, and Sonnet 14. Some pursue issues of sources, authorship, and audience, while still others probe extant biographical records or reflect on the author as biographical subject. Diverse though they are in subject matter, approaches, and emphases, all demonstrate how Milton scholarship in the twenty-first century continues to be committed to not willingly let ting] Milton's literary legacy die. Kristin A. Brothers University. Charles W. Durham is professor emeritus of English at Middle Tennessee State University, and is president of the Milton Society of America.
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Page 13 - ... an inward prompting which now grew daily upon me, that by labour and intent study, which I take to be my portion in- this life, joined with the strong propensity of nature, I might perhaps leave something so written to after-times, as they should not willingly let it die.