"Paradise Lost: A Poem Written in Ten Books": Essays on the 1667 First EditionEd. by Michael Lieb and John T. Shawcross $70.00
Published in 2007 | 288 pages | cloth | ISBN: 978-0-8207-0393-0
"The 1667 text itself and the three essays focusing on bibliographic details will be most useful to Milton specialists, but the other seven essays, all of which break new ground, will be helpful to anyone approaching Milton's poem, including the 1674 edition." — Choice
Appearing in tandem with the first publication of an authoritative text of the 1667 first edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, these insightful essays by ten Miltonists establish the significant differences in the text, context, and effect of the first edition of Paradise Lost from those of the now-standard second edition of 1674. In bringing together essays by various hands, editors Lieb and Shawcross seek to map what may be termed a new frontier in Milton studies, that which acknowledges the importance of what Milton himself considered to be the work of a lifetime when he offered Paradise Lost to the world in 1667.
While the scholars writing here do not claim that the first edition of Milton’s epic is to be viewed as supplanting the second and later editions, they do seek to demonstrate the importance of coming to terms with the original 10-book edition both as an epic with its own identity and value and as a work that provides fundamental insight into the nature of the editions that would follow in its wake. As these scholars demonstrate, Paradise Lost is a work that cannot be fully understood without an awareness of the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the forces through which it made its first and subsequent appearances in the world at large.
JOHN T. SHAWCROSS is professor emeritus of English at the University of Kentucky.
MICHAEL LIEB is research professor of humanities and professor of English at the University of Illinois, Chicago.