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Look Inside Milton, Authorship, and the Book Trade

Milton, Authorship, and the Book Trade


  • Date Published: September 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521119009

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About the Authors
  • This study offers an original exploration of Milton's relationship to the seventeenth-century book trade. Critics have often assumed that Milton presided over all stages of his texts' creation, and little has been said about his dependence on other people for producing his works. Examining Milton's changing historical circumstances with special attention to his texts' material production, Stephen B. Dobranski shows in a series of provocative and original case studies that Milton benefited from a collaborative process of writing and publishing. He worked with amanuenses, acquaintances, printers and publishers, often in dramatic and surprising ways: paradoxically, Milton's implied persona of the independent, even isolated, poet required the cooperation of these various individuals. With the attentiveness of textual scholarship and booktrade history to the material forms of publication, Dobranski offers fresh insight into the practice of authorship and the meaning of Milton's works.

    • The first study of Milton's relationship to the 17th-century booktrade, examining the material production of his texts, with insights drawn from textual scholarship and history of the book
    • Overturns received images of Milton as an autonomous and isolated genius, by revealing the extent of his debt to collaborative working practices with amanuenses, printers and publishers
    • Offers important new readings of Milton's poems and pamphlets, shedding new light on his authorship and the meaning of the texts
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521119009
    • length: 260 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the author John Milton
    1. The labor of book-writing and book-making
    2. Restoring Samson Agonistes
    3. The myth of the solitary genius
    4. Fair Milton's counterfeit
    5. Letters and spirit in Areopagitica
    6. The mystery of Milton as licenser
    7. The poet John Milton, 1673

  • Author

    Stephen B. Dobranski, Georgia State University

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