John Milton eBooks
John Milton, born in 1608, was a British poet and critic. He is best known for his epic poem, Paradise Lost, which was published in 1664.
Milton was born in London; his father worked as a scrivener and composer. The Milton family’s wealth allowed him to be well educated, through private tutors and a Cambridge University. Milton was studying to become a priest and while there, he composed several pieces and published a number of poems.
Milton continued his private studies after he earned his M.A. in 1632. During this time he was also commissioned to write a number of poems, including Arcades and Comus. He wrote Lycidas, an elegy in the memory of his friend, Edward King.
After travelling around Europe for a year, Milton returned to England, settling in London. There, he tutored his nephews and the children of other wealthy families. During this time, as England fell into Civil War, Milton turned his writing to polemics. His writing argued for republicanism, and when the Parliamentarians were victorious, Milton was appointed Secretary for Foreign Tongues. He continued to write in praise of Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth.
During this era, Milton’s vision began to fail, most likely due to glaucoma. By 1654, Milton was totally blind, and his writing was dictated to a series of assistants. In this method, he wrote Paradise Lost, as well as Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes. In addition to these poetic texts, he continued to write political tracts.
Milton died of gout in 1674, with several of his polemic texts being published posthumously.