John Milton
English poet and prose polemicist
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost. Milton's poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self-determination, and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day.
John Milton's personal information overview.
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Nigeria: If Jonathan Fails to Stop Corruption, There Will Be a Revolution ... -
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As John Milton puts it in Paradise Lost 'The low' ring element scowls o'er the darkened landscape. We cannot afford to be uninformed or unprepared; we must take all necessary measures to avert disaster. A cloud can evaporate and disappear,
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Area golf scorecard - Florida Times-Union
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John Milton 73, T2. Tom Drill, Danny Eckles 74, T4. Mike Bodney, Eric Graybeal, Luis Rivera, Craig Ross, Garrett Stone 75, T9. Jared Garcia, Lenny Schonfeld III, Andrew Soblewski 76; T12. Corey Menter, Greg Mergel, Dave Phillips, Kevin Slayden 77; T16
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10 Years Later, Columbia 9/11 Survivor 'Trying To Move On' -
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John Milton Wesley lost his fiancée Sarah Miller Clark 10 years ago. But he refused to lose himself. By Lisa Rossi John Wesley sorts through a box of photographs looking for images of Sarah Clark. He was at his office at the 27-story Schaefer Building
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Djimon Hounsou Joins Bradley Cooper and Ben Walker in Paradise Lost -
Google News - over 5 years
Now, he's set to play a far more terrible creature in Paradise Lost, an adaptation of John Milton's 17-century poem. According to Deadline, Hounsou will play Abdiel, the angel of death. Bradley Cooper is set to play Lucifer and Benjamin Walker the
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Jeff Ward: The Last Day of Summer Vacation Stinks! -
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Bill Shakespeare, John Milton, James Joyce? Not even close. Take John Steinbeck, please! If I wanted to get that depressed I'll just watch Fox News. You can throw authors at me till you're blue in the face, but no piece of prose on the planet can
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Pandemonium – Art in a Time of Creativity Fever - E-Flux
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In John Milton's epic Paradise Lost (1671), Pandemonium is the castle built by Lucifer and his band after they had been booted out of heaven. It is the base camp from which they plot against the 'old order'. But it is also a platform from which they
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Djimon Hounsou To Play The Angel Of Death In Alex Proyas' Paradise Lost - Cinema Blend
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Most of Paradise Lost, the 17th century epic poem about the war between heaven and hell, was actually not physically written by John Milton. By the time the writer was 52 he was completely blind and the poem was actually transcribed while he spoke. ... - -
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Benjamin Walker Will Do Battle as Archangel Michael in 'Paradise Lost' - Film School Rejects
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When it was first announced that Dark City director Alex Proyas was doing an adaptation of the epic John Milton poem “Paradise Lost”, it was rumored that he would be turning the work into an action movie. That seemed a little ridiculous, as “Paradise ... - -
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John Milton will be turning in his grave following this assault on press freedom - (blog)
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By Brendan O'Neill Politics Last updated: July 14th, 2011 John Milton will be turning in his grave following yesterday's tortured debate in parliament about what to do with the naughty newspapers. It is more than 350 years since Milton wrote
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English madrigals at St Augustine's - Galway Advertiser
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... and lesser known 19th century revival of early music with Shakespeare settings by George MacFarren. There will also be three madrigalian partsongs by Pearsall, a glee by William Beale, and a double-choir setting of John Milton's 1645 work 'On Time'
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Crave More Horrible Bosses? 4 More Bosses And 2 Devils Worth Watching - Inside Pulse
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As John Milton, the senior partner at the New York law firm of Milton, Chadwick and Waters, he presents himself as a very endearing person at first. He dispenses advice to a young, hotshot defense attorney, Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves), helping him in
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King book will bring little benefit - The Press
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"A good book is the precious life blood of a master spirit," wrote John Milton, who became a censor. In the 17th century they knew a bad book when they saw one. We have less certainty, but on two points of moral judgment we seem united: that Macsyna
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The problem of 'Pitching the Tent' - Rapid City Journal
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In his impassioned address to the House of Parliament in England 368 years ago (1643), John Milton makes note of the accomplishments of humanity, in search of truth up to his time, but readily warns of the dangers of resting on our
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Carroll Leggett: They also serve … - Winston-Salem Journal
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In the 1960s, a college English professor introduced me to John Milton's tragic poem, "On His Blindness." A sentence from it has haunted me ever since. "They also serve who only stand and wait," were Milton's
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Oklahoma City attorney suspended after being accused of stealing $130000 from ... -
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BY NOLAN CLAY In four decades as an Oklahoma City attorney, John Milton Merritt filed hundreds of lawsuits on behalf of the injured and families of the dead. He sued automakers. He sued railroad companies
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of John Milton
  • 1674
    Age 65
    Just before his death in 1674, Milton supervised a second edition of Paradise Lost, accompanied by an explanation of "why the poem rhymes not", and prefatory verses by Andrew Marvell.
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    Milton died of kidney failure on 8 November 1674 and was buried in the church of St Giles Cripplegate, Fore Street, London.
    More Details Hide Details According to an early biographer, his funeral was attended by “his learned and great Friends in London, not without a friendly concourse of the Vulgar.” A monument was added in 1793, sculpted by John Bacon the Elder. Milton and his first wife Mary Powell (1625–1652) had four children: Mary Powell died on 5 May 1652 from complications following Deborah's birth. Milton's daughters survived to adulthood, but he always had a strained relationship with them.
  • 1673
    Age 64
    In 1673, Milton republished his 1645 Poems, as well as a collection of his letters and the Latin prolusions from his Oxford days.
    More Details Hide Details A 1668 edition of Paradise Lost, reported to have been Milton's personal copy, is now housed in the archives of the University of Western Ontario.
  • 1671
    Age 62
    Milton followed up the publication Paradise Lost with its sequel Paradise Regained, which was published alongside the tragedy Samson Agonistes in 1671.
    More Details Hide Details Both of these works also resonate with Milton's post-Restoration political situation.
  • 1667
    Age 58
    On 27 April 1667, Milton sold the publication rights for Paradise Lost to publisher Samuel Simmons for £5, equivalent to approximately £7,400 income in 2008, with a further £5 to be paid if and when each print run sold out of between 1,300 and 1,500 copies.
    More Details Hide Details The first run was a quarto edition priced at three shillings per copy, published in August 1667, and it sold out in eighteen months.
  • 1663
    Age 54
    Milton married for a third and final time on 24 February 1663, marrying Elizabeth (Betty) Minshull aged 24, a native of Wistaston, Cheshire.
    More Details Hide Details He spent the remaining decade of his life living quietly in London, only retiring to a cottage during the Great Plague of London—Milton's Cottage in Chalfont St. Giles, his only extant home. During this period, Milton published several minor prose works, such as the grammar textbook Art of Logic and a History of Britain. His only explicitly political tracts were the 1672 Of True Religion, arguing for toleration (except for Catholics), and a translation of a Polish tract advocating an elective monarchy. Both these works were referred to in the Exclusion debate, the attempt to exclude the heir presumptive from the throne of England—James, Duke of York—because he was Roman Catholic. That debate preoccupied politics in the 1670s and 1680s and precipitated the formation of the Whig party and the Glorious Revolution.
  • 1662
    Age 53
    Milton married for a third time on 24 February 1662 to Elizabeth Mynshull (1638–1728), the niece of Thomas Mynshull, a wealthy apothecary and philanthropist in Manchester.
    More Details Hide Details Despite a 31-year age gap, the marriage seemed happy, according to John Aubrey, and lasted more than 12 years until Milton's death. (A plaque on the wall of Mynshull's House in Manchester describes Elizabeth as Milton's "3rd and Best wife".) Samuel Johnson, however, claims that Mynshull was "a domestic companion and attendant" and that Milton's nephew Edward Phillips relates that Mynshull "oppressed his children in his lifetime, and cheated them at his death". Nephews Edward and John Phillips (sons of Milton's sister Anne) were educated by Milton and became writers themselves. John acted as a secretary, and Edward was Milton's first biographer. Milton's poetry was slow to see the light of day, at least under his name. His first published poem was On Shakespear (1630), anonymously included in the Second Folio edition of William Shakespeare. Milton collected his work in 1645 Poems in the midst of the excitement attending the possibility of establishing a new English government. The anonymous edition of Comus was published in 1637, and the publication of Lycidas in 1638 in Justa Edouardo King Naufrago was signed J. M. Otherwise. The 1645 collection was the only poetry of his to see print until Paradise Lost appeared in 1667.
  • 1660
    Age 51
    Upon the Restoration in May 1660, Milton went into hiding for his life, while a warrant was issued for his arrest and his writings were burnt.
    More Details Hide Details He re-emerged after a general pardon was issued, but was nevertheless arrested and briefly imprisoned before influential friends intervened, such as Marvell, now an MP.
  • 1659
    Age 50
    In 1659, he published A Treatise of Civil Power, attacking the concept of a state-dominated church (the position known as Erastianism), as well as Considerations touching the likeliest means to remove hirelings, denouncing corrupt practises in church governance.
    More Details Hide Details As the Republic disintegrated, Milton wrote several proposals to retain a non-monarchical government against the wishes of parliament, soldiers, and the people.
  • 1656
    Age 47
    On 12 November 1656, Milton was married to Katherine Woodcock.
    More Details Hide Details She died on 3 February 1658, less than four months after giving birth to daughter Katherine, who also died.
  • 1655
    Age 46
    Alexander Morus, to whom Milton wrongly attributed the Clamor (in fact by Peter du Moulin), published an attack on Milton, in response to which Milton published the autobiographical Defensio pro se in 1655.
    More Details Hide Details In addition to these literary defences of the Commonwealth and his character, Milton continued to translate official correspondence into Latin.
  • 1654
    Age 45
    By 1654, Milton had become totally blind; the cause of his blindness is debated but bilateral retinal detachment or glaucoma are most likely.
    More Details Hide Details His blindness forced him to dictate his verse and prose to amanuenses (helpers), one of whom was poet Andrew Marvell. One of his best-known sonnets is presumed to date from this period, When I Consider How My Light is Spent, titled by a later editor "On His Blindness". Cromwell's death in 1658 caused the English Republic to collapse into feuding military and political factions. Milton, however, stubbornly clung to the beliefs that had originally inspired him to write for the Commonwealth.
    In 1654, Milton completed the second defence of the English nation Defensio secunda in response to an anonymous Royalist tract "Regii sanguinis clamor", a work that made many personal attacks on Milton.
    More Details Hide Details The second defence praised Oliver Cromwell, now Lord Protector, while exhorting him to remain true to the principles of the Revolution.
  • 1652
    Age 43
    He also published his Sonnet 16 in praise of "Cromwell, our chief of men" in 1652.
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    On 24 February 1652, Milton published his Latin defence of the English people Defensio pro Populo Anglicano, also known as the First Defence.
    More Details Hide Details Milton's pure Latin prose and evident learning exemplified in the First Defence quickly made him a European reputation, and the work ran to numerous editions.
  • 1650
    Age 41
    Milton embraced many heterodox Christian theological views. He rejected the Trinity, in the belief that the Son was subordinate to the Father, a position known as Arianism; and his sympathy or curiosity was probably engaged by Socinianism: in August 1650 he licensed for publication by William Dugard the Racovian Catechism, based on a non-trinitarian creed.
    More Details Hide Details A source has interpreted him as broadly Protestant, if not always easy to locate in a more precise religious category. In his 1641 treatise, Of Reformation, Milton expressed his dislike for Catholicism and episcopacy, presenting Rome as a modern Babylon, and bishops as Egyptian taskmasters. These analogies conform to Milton's puritanical preference for Old Testament imagery. He knew at least four commentaries on Genesis: those of John Calvin, Paulus Fagius, David Pareus and Andreus Rivetus. Through the Interregnum, Milton often presents England, rescued from the trappings of a worldly monarchy, as an elect nation akin to the Old Testament Israel, and shows its leader, Oliver Cromwell, as a latter-day Moses. These views were bound up in Protestant views of the Millennium, which some sects, such as the Fifth Monarchists predicted would arrive in England. Milton, however, would later criticise the "worldly" millenarian views of these and others, and expressed orthodox ideas on the prophecy of the Four Empires.
  • 1649
    Age 40
    After his divorce writings, Areopagitica, and a gap, he wrote in 1649–54 in the aftermath of the execution of Charles I, and in polemic justification of the regicide and the existing Parliamentarian regime.
    More Details Hide Details Then in 1659–60 he foresaw the Restoration, and wrote to head it off. Milton's own beliefs were in some cases both unpopular and dangerous, and this was true particularly to his commitment to republicanism. In coming centuries, Milton would be claimed as an early apostle of liberalism. According to James Tully: A friend and ally in the pamphlet wars was Marchamont Nedham. Austin Woolrych considers that although they were quite close, there is "little real affinity, beyond a broad republicanism", between their approaches. Blair Worden remarks that both Milton and Nedham, with others such as Andrew Marvell and James Harrington, would have taken the problem with the Rump Parliament to be not the republic, but the fact that it was not a proper republic. Woolrych speaks of "the gulf between Milton's vision of the Commonwealth's future and the reality". In the early version of his History of Britain, begun in 1649, Milton was already writing off the members of the Long Parliament as incorrigible.
    In October 1649, he published Eikonoklastes, an explicit defence of the regicide, in response to the Eikon Basilike, a phenomenal best-seller popularly attributed to Charles I that portrayed the King as an innocent Christian martyr.
    More Details Hide Details Milton tried to break this powerful image of Charles I (the literal translation of Eikonoklastes is 'the image breaker'). A month later, however, the exiled Charles II and his party published the defence of monarchy Defensio Regia pro Carolo Primo, written by leading humanist Claudius Salmasius. By January of the following year, Milton was ordered to write a defence of the English people by the Council of State. Milton worked more slowly than usual, given the European audience and the English Republic's desire to establish diplomatic and cultural legitimacy, as he drew on the learning marshalled by his years of study to compose a riposte.
    With the parliamentary victory in the Civil War, Milton used his pen in defence of the republican principles represented by the Commonwealth. The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649) defended popular government and implicitly sanctioned the regicide; Milton's political reputation got him appointed Secretary for Foreign Tongues by the Council of State in March 1649.
    More Details Hide Details His main job description was to compose the English Republic's foreign correspondence in Latin, but he also was called upon to produce propaganda for the regime and to serve as a censor.
  • 1645
    Age 36
    Even here, though, his originality is qualified: Thomas Gataker had already identified "mutual solace" as a principal goal in marriage. Milton abandoned his campaign to legitimise divorce after 1645, but he expressed support for polygamy in the De Doctrina Christiana, the theological treatise that provides the clearest evidence for his views.
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  • 1643
    Age 34
    Milton addressed the Assembly on the matter of divorce in August 1643, at a moment when the Assembly was beginning to form its opinion on the matter.
    More Details Hide Details In the Doctrine & Discipline of Divorce, Milton argued that divorce was a private matter, not a legal or ecclesiastical one. Neither the Assembly nor Parliament condemned Milton or his ideas. In fact, when the Westminster Assembly wrote the Westminster Confession of Faith they allowed for divorce ('Of Marriage and Divorce,' Chapter 24, Section 5) in cases of infidelity or abandonment. Thus, the Christian community, at least a majority within the 'Puritan' sub-set, approved of Milton's views. Nevertheless, reaction among Puritans to Milton's views on divorce was mixed. Herbert Palmer (Puritan) condemned Milton in the strongest possible language. Palmer, who was a member of the Westminster Assembly, wrote: Palmer expressed his disapproval in a sermon addressed to the Westminster Assembly. The Scottish commissioner Robert Baillie described Palmer's sermon as one “of the most Scottish and free sermons that ever I heard any where.”
    Milton wrote The Doctrine & Discipline of Divorce in 1643, at the beginning of the English Civil War.
    More Details Hide Details In August of that year, he presented his thoughts to the Westminster Assembly of Divines, which had been created by the Long Parliament to bring greater reform to the Church of England. The Assembly convened on 1 July against the will of King Charles I. Milton's thinking on divorce caused him considerable trouble with the authorities. An orthodox Presbyterian view of the time was that Milton's views on divorce constituted a one-man heresy:
    In the meantime, her desertion prompted Milton to publish a series of pamphlets over the next three years arguing for the legality and morality of divorce. (Anna Beer, one of Milton's most recent biographers, points to a lack of evidence and the dangers of cynicism in urging that it was not necessarily the case that the private life so animated the public polemicising.) In 1643, Milton had a brush with the authorities over these writings, in parallel with Hezekiah Woodward, who had more trouble.
    More Details Hide Details It was the hostile response accorded the divorce tracts that spurred Milton to write Areopagitica, his celebrated attack on pre-printing censorship. In Areopagitica, Milton aligns himself with the parliamentary cause, and he also begins to synthesize the ideal of neo-Roman liberty with that of Christian liberty.
  • 1642
    Age 33
    In June 1642, Milton paid a visit to the manor house at Forest Hill, Oxfordshire and returned with 16 year-old bride Mary Powell.
    More Details Hide Details Mary found life difficult with the severe 35 year-old schoolmaster and pamphleteer, and she returned to her family a month later. She did not return until 1645, partly because of the outbreak of the Civil War.
  • 1639
    Age 30
    From Switzerland, Milton travelled to Paris and then to Calais before finally arriving back in England in either July or August 1639.
    More Details Hide Details On returning to England where the Bishops' Wars presaged further armed conflict, Milton began to write prose tracts against episcopacy, in the service of the Puritan and Parliamentary cause. Milton's first foray into polemics was Of Reformation touching Church Discipline in England (1641), followed by Of Prelatical Episcopacy, the two defences of Smectymnuus (a group of Presbyterian divines named from their initials; the "TY" belonged to Milton's old tutor Thomas Young), and The Reason of Church-Government Urged against Prelaty. He vigorously attacked the High-church party of the Church of England and their leader William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, with frequent passages of real eloquence lighting up the rough controversial style of the period, and deploying a wide knowledge of church history. He was supported by his father's investments, but Milton became a private schoolmaster at this time, educating his nephews and other children of the well-to-do. This experience and discussions with educational reformer Samuel Hartlib led him to write his short tract Of Education in 1644, urging a reform of the national universities.
    Originally, Milton wanted to leave Naples in order to travel to Sicily and then on to Greece, but he returned to England during the summer of 1639 because of what he claimed in Defensio Secunda were "sad tidings of civil war in England."
    More Details Hide Details Matters became more complicated when Milton received word that his childhood friend Diodati had died. Milton in fact stayed another seven months on the continent, and spent time at Geneva with Diodati's uncle after he returned to Rome. In Defensio Secunda, Milton proclaimed that he was warned against a return to Rome because of his frankness about religion, but he stayed in the city for two months and was able to experience Carnival and meet Lukas Holste, a Vatican librarian who guided Milton through its collection. He was introduced to Cardinal Francesco Barberini who invited Milton to an opera hosted by the Cardinal. Around March, Milton travelled once again to Florence, staying there for two months, attending further meetings of the academies, and spending time with friends. After leaving Florence, he travelled through Lucca, Bologna, and Ferrara before coming to Venice. In Venice, Milton was exposed to a model of Republicanism, later important in his political writings, but he soon found another model when he travelled to Geneva.
  • 1638
    Age 29
    He reached Florence in July 1638.
    More Details Hide Details While there, Milton enjoyed many of the sites and structures of the city. His candour of manner and erudite neo-Latin poetry earned him friends in Florentine intellectual circles, and he met the astronomer Galileo who was under house arrest at Arcetri, as well as others. Milton probably visited the Florentine Academy and the Academia della Crusca along with smaller academies in the area, including the Apatisti and the Svogliati. He left Florence in September to continue to Rome. With the connections from Florence, Milton was able to have easy access to Rome's intellectual society. His poetic abilities impressed those like Giovanni Salzilli, who praised Milton within an epigram. In late October, Milton attended a dinner given by the English College, Rome, despite his dislike for the Society of Jesus, meeting English Catholics who were also guests—theologian Henry Holden and the poet Patrick Cary. He also attended musical events, including oratorios, operas, and melodramas. Milton left for Naples toward the end of November, where he stayed only for a month because of the Spanish control. During that time, he was introduced to Giovanni Battista Manso, patron to both Torquato Tasso and to Giovanni Battista Marino.
    In May 1638, Milton embarked upon a tour of France and Italy that lasted up to July or August 1639.
    More Details Hide Details His travels supplemented his study with new and direct experience of artistic and religious traditions, especially Roman Catholicism. He met famous theorists and intellectuals of the time, and was able to display his poetic skills. For specific details of what happened within Milton's "grand tour", there appears to be just one primary source: Milton's own Defensio Secunda. There are other records, including some letters and some references in his other prose tracts, but the bulk of the information about the tour comes from a work that, according to Barbara Lewalski, "was not intended as autobiography but as rhetoric, designed to emphasise his sterling reputation with the learned of Europe." He first went to Calais and then on to Paris, riding horseback, with a letter from diplomat Henry Wotton to ambassador John Scudamore. Through Scudamore, Milton met Hugo Grotius, a Dutch law philosopher, playwright, and poet. Milton left France soon after this meeting. He travelled south from Nice to Genoa, and then to Livorno and Pisa.
  • 1632
    Age 23
    Milton continued to write poetry during this period of study; his Arcades and Comus were both commissioned for masques composed for noble patrons, connections of the Egerton family, and performed in 1632 and 1634 respectively.
    More Details Hide Details Comus argues for the virtuousness of temperance and chastity. He contributed his pastoral elegy Lycidas to a memorial collection for one of his Cambridge classmates. Drafts of these poems are preserved in Milton’s poetry notebook, known as the Trinity Manuscript because it is now kept at Trinity College, Cambridge.
    Upon receiving his M.A. in 1632, Milton retired to Hammersmith, his father's new home since the previous year.
    More Details Hide Details He also lived at Horton, Berkshire, from 1635 and undertook six years of self-directed private study. Hill argues that this was not retreat into a rural idyll; Hammersmith was then a "suburban village" falling into the orbit of London, and even Horton was becoming deforested and suffered from the plague. He read both ancient and modern works of theology, philosophy, history, politics, literature, and science in preparation for a prospective poetical career. Milton's intellectual development can be charted via entries in his commonplace book (like a scrapbook), now in the British Library. As a result of such intensive study, Milton is considered to be among the most learned of all English poets. In addition to his years of private study, Milton had command of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Spanish, and Italian from his school and undergraduate days; he also added Old English to his linguistic repertoire in the 1650s while researching his History of Britain, and probably acquired proficiency in Dutch soon after.
  • 1626
    Age 17
    In 1626, Milton's tutor was Nathaniel Tovey.
    More Details Hide Details At Cambridge, Milton was on good terms with Edward King, for whom he later wrote "Lycidas". He also befriended Anglo-American dissident and theologian Roger Williams. Milton tutored Williams in Hebrew in exchange for lessons in Dutch. At Cambridge, Milton developed a reputation for poetic skill and general erudition, but experienced alienation from his peers and university life as a whole. Having watched his fellow students attempting comedy upon the college stage, he later observed 'they thought themselves gallant men, and I thought them fools'. Milton was disdainful of the university curriculum, which consisted of stilted formal debates conducted in Latin on abstruse topics. His own corpus is not devoid of humour, notably his sixth prolusion and his epitaphs on the death of Thomas Hobson. While at Cambridge, he wrote a number of his well-known shorter English poems, among them "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity", his "Epitaph on the admirable Dramatick Poet, W. Shakespeare" (his first poem to appear in print), L'Allegro, and Il Penseroso.
  • 1625
    Age 16
    It is also possible that, like Isaac Newton four decades later, Milton was sent home because of the plague, by which Cambridge was badly affected in 1625.
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    In 1625, Milton began attending Christ's College, Cambridge.
    More Details Hide Details He graduated with a B.A. in 1629, and ranked fourth of 24 honours graduates that year in the University of Cambridge. Preparing to become an Anglican priest, Milton stayed on to obtain his Master of Arts degree on 3 July 1632. Milton was probably rusticated (suspended) for quarrelling in his first year with his tutor, Bishop William Chappell. He was certainly at home in the Lent Term 1626; there he wrote his Elegia Prima, a first Latin elegy, to Charles Diodati, a friend from St Paul's. Based on remarks of John Aubrey, Chappell "whipt" Milton. This story is now disputed, though certainly Milton disliked Chappell. Historian Christopher Hill cautiously notes that Milton was "apparently" rusticated, and that the differences between Chappell and Milton may have been either religious or personal.
  • 1608
    John Milton was born in Bread Street, London on 9 December 1608, the son of composer John Milton and his wife Sarah Jeffrey.
    More Details Hide Details The senior John Milton (1562–1647) moved to London around 1583 after being disinherited by his devout Catholic father Richard Milton for embracing Protestantism. In London, the senior John Milton married Sarah Jeffrey (1572–1637) and found lasting financial success as a scrivener. He lived in and worked from a house on Bread Street, where the Mermaid Tavern was located in Cheapside. The elder Milton was noted for his skill as a musical composer, and this talent left his son with a lifelong appreciation for music and friendships with musicians such as Henry Lawes. Milton's father's prosperity provided his eldest son with a private tutor, Thomas Young, a Scottish Presbyterian with an M.A. from the University of St. Andrews. Research suggests that Young's influence served as the poet's introduction to religious radicalism. After Young's tutorship, Milton attended St Paul's School in London. There he began the study of Latin and Greek, and the classical languages left an imprint on his poetry in English (he also wrote in Italian and Latin). Milton's first datable compositions are two psalms done at age 15 at Long Bennington. One contemporary source is the Brief Lives of John Aubrey, an uneven compilation including first-hand reports. In the work, Aubrey quotes Christopher, Milton's younger brother: "When he was young, he studied very hard and sat up very late, commonly till twelve or one o'clock at night".
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