[Milton-L] Teaching with Lewalski's _Life_

Rose Williams rwill627 at suddenlink.net
Mon Jun 25 10:34:27 EDT 2007


When I first began serious study of Milton in Grad school, although I had 
read him for my English Lit BA, I needed a good introduction. I learned a 
great deal from reading Douglas Bush's "John Milton: A Sketch of His Life 
and Writings"(1964). I then went on to other works more easily.
Rose Williams
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michele Walfred" <walfred at udel.edu>
To: "'John Milton Discussion List'" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 8:16 AM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Teaching with Lewalski's _Life_


> If I may provide a student perspective - I am a 51 year old senior at UD 
> and
> took Milton ENGL 328 as an independent study course.  In preparation for
> required reading material I thought it wise to read a biography the summer
> before. I selected Lewalski's book from the 5 stars on Amazon.com and lack
> of other biographies available to me. It presumed the reader had basic
> knowledge - religious groups for example, and used vocabulary in general
> that went over my head. I read a lot - and this was tough going. Going 
> into
> Milton totally green, I ended up getting discouraged, putting it down and
> went to Parker's instead, which was mentioned positively on this list 
> serve.
> Fortunately I found Parker in my library and didn't have to pay the $180 
> for
> the book and notes.  After reading that and then delving into Milton's 
> major
> works and criticisms, I did return to Lewalkski's book and found a lot of
> value from it and cited it extensively in my paper - mostly because by 
> then,
> I knew what she was talking about.  Bottom line, I didn't think it was a
> good introductory biography - Parker was the better story teller and 
> whetted
> my appetite to explore Milton beyond what was required of me to read.
>
>
> From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> [mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Eric B. Song
> Sent: Friday, June 22, 2007 1:08 PM
> To: Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
> Subject: [Milton-L] Teaching with Lewalski's _Life_
>
> Dear Miltonists,
>
> I'd like to solicit advice and pedagogical anecdotes from those of you who
> have used Lewalski's _Life of Milton_ in undergraduate courses. I'm about 
> to
>
> teach a Milton seminar for the first time in the fall, and I'm tentatively
> planning on assigning four or five selections from the biography 
> throughout
> the semester. I'm a bit nervous, though, that what I find eloquent and
> readable accounts of Milton's life and political milieu will strike my
> students as discouragingly confusing and arcane.
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> Eric B. Song
> Department of English
> University of Virginia
> ericsong at virginia.edu
>
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