John Milton's celebrated epic poem exploring the cosmological, moral and spiritual origins of man's existence
A Penguin Classic
In Paradise Lost Milton produced poem of epic scale, conjuring up a vast, awe-inspiring cosmos and ranging across huge tracts of space and time, populated by a memorable gallery of grotesques. And yet, in putting a charismatic Satan and naked, innocent Adam and Eve at the centre of this story, he also created an intensely human tragedy on the Fall of Man. Written when Milton was in his fifties - blind, bitterly disappointed by the Restoration and in danger of execution - Paradise Lost's apparent ambivalence towards authority has led to intense debate about whether it manages to 'justify the ways of God to men', or exposes the cruelty of Christianity.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
John Milton (1608-1674) spent his early years in scholarly pursuit. In 1649 he took up the cause for the new Commonwealth, defending the English revolution both in English and Latin - and sacrificing his eyesight in the process. He risked his lifeby publishing The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth on the eve of the Restoration (1660). His great poems were published after this political defeat.
John Leonard is a Professor of English at the University of Western Ontario.
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Excerpted from "Paradise Lost"
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Table of ContentsIntroduction by Philip Pullman
A Note on the Illustrations
What People are Saying About This
"Barbara Lewalski is the doyenne of the community of Milton scholars, but she also remains committed to the enterprise of teaching. In this exemplary edition of Paradise Lost both qualities are in evidence: the text is scrupulous and the scholarship rigorous, but both the introduction and the notes are accommodated to the needs of students who will be coming to the poem for the first time. This is an edition that will please students and professors alike, and its sheer quality is a tribute to Barbara Lewalski's passion to provide readers with all the help they need to understand the greatest of all English poems." –Gordon Campbell, University of Leicester
"Teachers and scholars will welcome Barbara Lewalski’s Blackwell edition of Paradise Lost, one not only informed by the erudition of a prominent and highly respected Miltonist but advantaged by her sound decision to reproduce the original language, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and italics of the 1674 text." –Edward Jones, Editor, Milton Quarterly
"For the student or general reader, looking for an old-spelling edition that is faithful to the original punctuation, this edition has much to recommend it. Its annotation is crisp, purposeful and well-judged." –Thomas N. Corns, University of Wales, Bangor
"A superb teaching text. Lewalski’s edition respects Milton’s original poem and offers supremely clear introductions, bibliography and special material to guide the student reader and educated lay person alike to new discoveries in a work that, quite simply, has it all: good, evil, God, Satan, humans, angels, love, despair, war, politics, sex, duty, and sublime poetry—set in a cosmic landscape that inspires wonder and seduces new readers in every generation." –Sharon Achinstein, Oxford University