[Milton-L] Areopagitica's first readers

maltzahn at uottawa.ca maltzahn at uottawa.ca
Mon Apr 23 15:58:20 EDT 2007


The early entries in John Shawcross's great bibliography are worth
consulting (work from the index), with the most interesting likely the
John Hall (of Durham) reference and that doubting German reaction in the
Hartlib papers (Leo Miller had a piece in Notes and Queries about this and
David Norbrook works with it in _Writing English Republicanism_).  Some of
the early copies--e.g. Huntington Library 10635--have very active
marginalia, though more exact dating of these often presents a challenge.

Nick von Maltzahn






> Jeffrey Shoulson is asking for the most recent and best documented
> research on the reception of Areopagitica in the very first few years
> after its publication (1644-49).
>
> So this response can hardly be very useful.   However, at the end of the
> first paragraph of my Introduction to Modern Judgements on Milton (1968)
> I wrote: "There appears to be no contemporary reference to Areopagitica;
> and certainly there is no reason to believe that Milton's ideas were
> taken very seriously by those who controlled events."
>
> So, with Jeffrey Shoulson, I await with interest documented contemporary
> references.
>
> Alan Rudrum
>
> Jeffrey Shoulson wrote:
>> Greetings to all,
>> I'm looking for the most recent and best documented research on the
>> reception of Areopagitica in the very first few years after its
>> publication (1644-49).  Parker notoriously down-played its
>> contemporary impact, whereas Christopher Hill and others have tried to
>> recover Milton's pre-interregnum reputation amongst radicals in the
>> 1640s.  Where do things stand now, specifically on the matter of how
>> widely the tract was read and discussed in contemporaneous writings?
>> Thanks to any and all for guidance.
>> Jeffrey
>>
>>
>> Jeffrey S. Shoulson, Ph. D.
>> Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies
>> University of Miami
>> PO Box 248145
>> Coral Gables, FL 33124-4632
>>
>> (o) 305-284-5596
>> (f) 305-284-5635
>>
>> jshoulson at miami.edu <mailto:jshoulson at miami.edu>
>> www.as.miami.edu/english/faculty.htm#shoulson
>>
>>
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