Milton's Grand Style

Milton's Grand Style

Milton's Grand Style

Milton's Grand Style


Christopher Ricks is Warren Professor of the Humanities at Boston University and co-director of the Editorial Institute. He has taught at Boston University since 1986; he was formerly King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at the University of Cambridge.


Milton's Grand Style has been vigorously attacked in the twentieth century, and this book is an attempt to refute Milton's detractors by showing the kind of life which there is in the verse of Paradise Lost. Because the style is powerful and grand, it has sometimes been assumed that it is only powerful and grand. I have tried to show its delicacy and subtlety, in the belief that its strength is not that of a steam- roller.

I am very grateful indeed for the advice of those who read an earlier draft: Mr. F. W. Bateson, Mr. John Bryson, Mr. Martin Dodsworth, Mr. John Gross, Mr. Roger Lonsdale, and Mr. W. W. Robson.

For permission to quote, I am grateful to: Mr. T. S. Eliot, and Faber & Faber (Four Quartets); Mr. W. H. Auden, and Faber & Faber (Collected Shorter Poems); Mr. J. B. Leishman, and the Hogarth Press (R. M. Rilke Selected Works, Volume II); Dr. Donald Davie, and Routledge & Kegan Paul (Syntax and Music in Paradise Lost, in The Living Milton, ed.F. Kermode).

C. B. R.

Worcester College, Oxford . . .

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