This ponderous tome contains all the non-poetical writings of the great English poet John Milton, who spent a period of his life working for the Commonwealth of England, first under its Council of State and later under Oliver Cromwell. His prose works thus include letters written to heads of state in Europe, many treatises on religious, social and political subjects, and also on matters of literary interest, such as grammatical niceties, punctuation and so on. A scarce volume, it originally appeared as a companion to the poetical works, but would seem to have been rather less popular.
John Milton (1608–1674) was an English poet and intellectual, who wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse. Writing in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, and his celebrated "Areopagitica" (1644), written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship, is among history's most influential and impassioned defences of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. His desire for freedom extended into his style: he introduced new words (coined from Latin) to the English language, and was the first modern writer to employ non-rhymed verse outside of the theatre or translations. William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author", and he remains generally regarded "as one of the pre-eminent writers in the English language", though critical reception has oscillated in the centuries since his death.
Our book is in good general condition, bound in brown leather/calf with gilt line border to front and and back, gilt title in a black panel on the spine, and almost invisible gilt decoration to the other 5 panels. Corners, edges and surfaces all scuffed, scratched and worn consistent with age and use; some points of frank damage. All textblock edges marbled (top very darkened). Inside, however, the green endpapers are clean and undamaged, the binding firm, and all pages clean and bright apart from some very occasional spots of foxing. Frontispiece portrait of Milton badly browned on both sides, and has left a brown rectangular 'shadow' on the title page opposite. Ex libris pasted inside front cover.