Areopagitica: A Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenced Printing to the Parliament of England

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The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., 1890 - Law - 189 pages
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Reprint of the 1890 Grolier Club edition, which was limited to 325 copies. The victory of Parliament over Crown during the Civil War prompted many questions including those regarding the liberty of the press under the new regime. The Stationers Company, which enjoyed Royal patronage and a monopoly on printing and bookselling granted by the Crown, petitioned Parliament for the continuation of its privileges under the new regime. This was a controversial request because Milton and others resented the Company's censorship of political and religious publications in the years before the Civil War. Milton [1608-1674], in what has been called his "most important" prose, urged Parliament to reject its petition in the name of intellectual freedom. This edition has a long introduction by James Russell Lowell [1819-1891], the notable poet and associate of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  

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About the author (1890)

John Milton, English scholar and classical poet, is one of the major figures of Western literature. He was born in 1608 into a prosperous London family. By the age of 17, he was proficient in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Milton attended Cambridge University, earning a B.A. and an M.A. before secluding himself for five years to read, write and study on his own. It is believed that Milton read evertything that had been published in Latin, Greek, and English. He was considered one of the most educated men of his time. Milton also had a reputation as a radical. After his own wife left him early in their marriage, Milton published an unpopular treatise supporting divorce in the case of incompatibility. Milton was also a vocal supporter of Oliver Cromwell and worked for him. Milton's first work, Lycidas, an elegy on the death of a classmate, was published in 1632, and he had numerous works published in the ensuing years, including Pastoral and Areopagitica. His Christian epic poem, Paradise Lost, which traced humanity's fall from divine grace, appeared in 1667, assuring his place as one of the finest non-dramatic poet of the Renaissance Age. Milton went blind at the age of 43 from the incredible strain he placed on his eyes. Amazingly, Paradise Lost and his other major works, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, were composed after the lost of his sight. These major works were painstakingly and slowly dictated to secretaries. John Milton died in 1674.

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