[Milton-L] _Areopagitica_ banned?

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Thu Oct 11 09:28:15 EDT 2018

Dear Colleagues,

I have gotten a query about whether Areopagitica itself was ever banned.  I have ILL’d Susanne Woods’s Milton and the Poetics of Freedom (2013), in which the last chapter is “Areopagitica's Reception History and Modern Contestations of Freedom,” but I am not sure what else is out there.  One of the great difficulties in researching this topic, of course, is that any more recent search for banned book information—e.g., on the ALA website on banned books—will mostly take one to quotations from Milton’s text and not to information about its own fortunes.

By the way, Gordon Campbell is here to speak and we had a wonderful turnout last night, along with wonderful meals with various colleagues.


Jameela Lares, Professor of English
Charles W. Moorman Distinguished Professor, 2017-2019
The University of Southern Mississippi
108 College Drive #5037
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

[cid:5ED493B1-35E4-43EF-824B-396581CC764B at eagleair.usm.edu]

From: Kathleen (Buchan) Kelly <mskmcbuchan at gmail.com<mailto:mskmcbuchan at gmail.com>>
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 9:51 PM
To: Jameela Lares <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu<mailto:Jameela.Lares at usm.edu>>
Subject: Areopagitica banned?

Hello Dr. Lares,
 My name is Kathleen Kelly.  I am a high school English teacher at a small school in Southern California.  I created a "Banned Books" class a couple of years back.  One of my seminal texts is Milton's Areopagitica.  I teach it to get kids thinking about the threat of licensing, and have them be modern-day Miltons later in the course.  I am writing because I was always under the impression that only Paradise Lost was banned, but not Areo.  I keep coming across a title of a text you wrote: Milton and the Preaching Arts. I wondered if your research suggests that this text was, in fact banned.  Could you point me to a resource that speaks to and clarifies the banning history of this speech?

I would be very grateful.

Truly yours,
Kathleen Kelly
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