[Milton-L] PL in contemporary usage

John Leonard jleonard at uwo.ca
Mon Mar 21 14:00:26 EDT 2011

"Hell broke loose" was proverbial before Milton used the phrase.  OED cites 
it from 1600 (Hell 10 gen).

The OED credits Milton with the first fully developed astronomical sense of 
"space" ("Space may produce new worlds," as in "space: the final frontier"), 
but Lucy Hutchinson and John Evelyn had used this sense before Milton in 
their respective translations of Lucretius (who had used spatium of outer 

Still on the topic of astronomy, numerous editors since Keightley have told 
us that "save appearances" was a technical scholastic term (which it was) 
and so infer that Raphael's use of the phrase is not mocking, but it is 
still possible that Raphael puts a highbrow term to mocking use and so helps 
to coin the modern colloquial sense.  My own view (for reasons too long to 
go into here) is that that is exactly what Raphael does.

John Leonard

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Christopher Baker" <Christopher.Baker at armstrong.edu>
To: <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 1:14 PM
Subject: [Milton-L] PL in contemporary usage

> "Pandemonium" (1.756) and "all hell broke loose" (4.918) are perhaps the 
> most famous of Milton's coinages in Paradise Lost, while "His Dark 
> Materials" (Pullman),  "Darkness Visible" (Styron), "In Dubious Battle" 
> (Steinbeck), and "Precious Bane" (Mary Webb) are book titles taken from 
> the epic.  Is there a convenient list somewhere (or the memories of list 
> members) that would provide other words, phrases, or titles taken from PL? 
> I am preparing a brief advertisement for a short course on PL; any help 
> would be appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Chris Baker
> Dr. Christopher Baker
> Professor of English
> Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy
> Armstrong Atlantic State University
> 11935 Abercorn Street
> Savannah, Georgia 31419
> 912.344.3188 ofc
> 912.344.3494 fax
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