A Milton Dictionary

A Milton Dictionary

A Milton Dictionary

A Milton Dictionary

Excerpt

A Milton dictionary, the only one of its comprehensive kind, is made up three classes of entities. First, it is a dictionary of "hard" words in Milton's verse and prose, capitalized or uncapitalized, his allusions geographic and mythological, classical and Biblical, literary and historical, his characters, his correspondents and named friends and opponents, his vocabulary archaic, obsolete, or special, his puns and cruxes. Second, there is a descriptive entry for each of Milton's works, down to the smallest Latin or Greek epigram and including the Familiar Letters (dealt with by recipient). Third, there are some fifty entries covering Milton, his mother and father, his wives, his nephews, and his biographers and editors and leading critics--including English poets influenced by or commemorating him-- from Aubrey and Dryden down to Tillyard and Hanford and Eliot.

The DICTIONARY is also an Index, for references are located by line number for the poems and by page number of the Columbia Edition for the prose works (De Doctrina Christiana is by book and chapter number). To serve in this capacity, names are entered that the reader will be familiar with. Under, for example, Moses or Adam or Cleopatra a classified conspectus of Milton's references is offered. Conspicuous sources, named (e.g. Dante) or unnamed (e.g. DuBartas) also appear, with some indication of the nature of the influence. On the other hand, names occurring only in the History of Britain or Muscovia, self-explanatory in context there, are not given. Except for a descriptive entry for each, the Logic, the State Papers, the De Doctrina Christiana (with its host of Biblical citations) and the Uncollected Writings in Volume XVIII of the Columbia Edition (notably the Commonplace Book which has been so masterfully annotated by Ruth Mohl in the Yale Milton) have been similarly slighted. Volumes I through IX and Volume XII of the Columbia Milton are thus the main preserve from which the first class of entries has been drawn. So that the DICTIONARY may be used with any text, regard is had to variants in spelling and Latin-English conversions that might prove confusing. Otherwise the text is in modern form, apart from Milton's title-pages. References that occur in a sonnet are mostly treated in the article on that sonnet.

Among the alphabetical aids have been Laura E. Lockwood Lexicon to the English Poetical Works of John Milton (1907) (long out of print), Allan H. Gilbert A Geographical Dictionary of Milton (1919), Charles G. Osgood's The Classical Mythology of Milton's English Poems (1900) . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.