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Religious satire and polemic constitute an elusive presence in Paradise Lost. John N. King demonstrates how we must read the text in a way that is true to its contemporary commitments and cultural dialogues. This important study sheds new light on Milton's epic and its literary and religious contexts.Read more
- Innovative study of religious invective, satire and polemic in relation to Milton's Paradise Lost by a distinguished scholar
- Considers Milton in relation to religious satire by Spenser in the sixteenth century, and the views of eighteenth-century critics
- Examines Paradise Lost in the context of seventeenth-century visual satires, many of which are reproduced here for the first time
Reviews & endorsements
"...this book constitutes a necessary correction to the general undrestanding of the place of satire in Paradise Lost, and it succeeds in 'complicating and enriching our understanding of an encyclopedic poem'." H-Net ReviewsSee more reviews
"King shows that religious satire and polemic are an integral part of Paradise Lost and that the poem was deeply engaged with the religious controversies of the 17th century...Lucidly written.' Choice
"a terrific reference for anyone who works in seventeenth-century English literature...Without a doubt, King's book lays the ground for further work on relations between Milton, Spenser, and the seventeenth-century Spenserians." Spenser Review
"a ...capacious and significant work, continuing King's series of exploration of the impact of the Reformation in English literature and culture. Few books of this length shed more light on religious controversy, and even fewer are better written." Times Literary Supplement
"King has recovered for our time a style of reading and a religio-historical context that enrich our understanding of Paradise Lost. Essential reading for Milton scholars, this book will attract and hold the interest of historians of genre, of intellectual historians, and of historians of religion. It will be useful not only for its argument, but as a reference work on religious abuse, satire, and polemic." Stephen Fallon
"...Milton and Religious Controversy brings fresh insights and considerable erudition to readings of Lycidas and Paradise Lost in a carefully woven polemical context...Scholars of Milton and of seventeenth-century religious history will find much value in this thoughtful and stimulating work." Modern Philology
"...a wonderful little book whose relative brevity might conceal how much material John N. King...manages to pack into 195 pages of text...a triumph of scholarship in its coverage of primary and secondary sources." Christianity and Literature
"...splendid and readable...[King's] determination to disclose Milton's "controversial merriment" leads to a new udnerstanding of the epic." Sixteenth Century Journal
"the exciting and detailed handling of passages accumulates, any disappointment dwindles in the rearview mirror...Catholicism and formalism in the later books of Paradise Lost, and have already been put to good use in at least one classroom." Albion
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- Date Published: July 2000
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521771986
- length: 248 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.54kg
- contains: 25 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Controversial merriment
2. Milton reads Spenser's May Eclogue
3. Satan and the demonic conclave
4. Milton's den of error
5. The paradise of fools
6. Laughter in heaven
7. Miltonic transubstantiation
8. Idolatry in Eden
9. Images of both churches
Appendix: Transcriptions from satirical broadsheets.
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