Milton and the Natural World: Science and Poetry in Paradise Lost

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 7, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 280 pages
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Karen Edwards offers a fresh view of Paradise Lost, in which Milton is shown to represent Eden's plants and animals in the light of the century's new, scientific natural history. Debunking the fabulous lore of the old science, the poem embraces new imaginative and symbolic possibilities for depicting the natural world, suggested by the speculations of Milton's scientific contemporaries including Robert Boyle, Thomas Browne and John Evelyn. The natural world in Paradise Lost, with its flowers and trees, insects and beasts, emerges as a text alive with meaning.
 

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Contents

Experimentalists and the book of the world
40
The place of experimental reading
64
Miltons complicated serpents
85
New uses for monstrous lore
99
From rarities to representatives
115
Conclusion
199
141
206
Naming and not naming
233
The balm of life
241
Bibliography
245
Index
260
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