[Milton-L] Milton bio's

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Wed Dec 10 05:02:12 EST 2008

"John Milton: Life, Work, and Thought" (Oxford U P 2008) is by BOTH Gordon Campbell and Thomas N. Corns, who are also co-editing the Clarendon edition of the Complete Works of Milton (Oxford U P 2008-2012), the first volume of which has just appeared (vol. 2, ed. Knoppers, "Paradise Regained").

Gordon and Tom are heavyweights in Milton studies, and I think anything they produce would be worth reading.  Gordon, indeed, edited Parker's standard twentieth-century biography of Milton for Oxford, and has also produced a Milton chronology.  In any case, the Campbell/Corns treatment of Milton's biography surely focuses on different issues than does Lewalski's, so I don't see the necessity of choosing one over the other.  I'll have more to say when I've read this latest.  So far, I've only been able to page through my copy, just purchased.

Indeed, just signed by both authors.  I was fortunate indeed to attend last night's launch of both the Clarendon Milton (Laura Knoppers's volume) and Gordon and Tom's book, also Milton's 400th birthday party, held in the Divinity School and Convocation room at the Bodleian in Oxford.  It was an elegant, memorable way to spend the momentous day, worth all the jet lag and expense to get there.

Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The U. of So. Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
601 266-6214 ofc
601 266-5757 fax


>From jonnyangel <junkopardner at comcast.net>
Sent Tue 12/9/2008 8:58 AM
To John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Subject [Milton-L] Milton bio's

Speaking of Gordon Campbell, has anyone read his new Milton bio that came out last month?

If so, how does it stack up to Lewalski’s “The life of John Milton”?

What I mean is, are they both necessary to have, or is Campbell’s just more of the same?

I’m very picky about books that I purchase, and I don’t want to read a rehashing is why I ask.

I’m also very obsessed at the moment with the idea that a lot of ‘Samson Agonistes’ had to have been influenced (as it stands complete) by Milton’s imprisonment, book burning’s and hefty fines after Charles II rode back into town. Both are blind, imprisoned and in a subordinate roles to the Philistines (Charles II) etc.

I’m not expecting those ideas to ever be supported by the current evidence on record, but I would hope that (as promised in Gordon’s VIP Milton) that this new bio reveals some new, interesting evidence on Milton’s life.

And to John Milton, Happy Birthday! And what a monumental one at that – how many people’s birthdays are celebrated 400 years later?

Peace Shalom,



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