The Battle of the Books: History and Literature in the Augustan Age

By Joseph M. Levine | Go to book overview

Chapter Eight
Bentley's Milton

1

Bentley's Paradise Lost remains a puzzle. Just why the great man should think of editing a modern poem, in obvious haste and against all advice, and risk his reputation as the most celebrated scholar of his time is not at all apparent. In 1730 he was almost seventy years old and locked in mortal combat with the fellows of Trinity College, his case awaiting trial in the House of Lords. He had fought his way to fame with a series of ambitious works that won him the admiration of learned Europe; but he had no obvious credentials for his new task, and in fact he blundered badly. The world of letters was scandalized, and despite an occasional attempt at exoneration, has continued to find the episode amusing. There is probably not much that can be done now to salvage Bentley's reputation in this matter, but it is undoubtedly worthwhile to look again at what he was attempting, if only because it may help to bring to a proper conclusion our story of the battle of the books. Bentley had been at or near the center of the controversy for many years, and this last peculiar work may be seen as his final contibution, and in a way a fitting climax, to the long English quarrel between the ancients and the moderns. It certainly will not do to toss it off, as some have done too easily, as the result simply of dishonesty, senility, or worse.1

Bentley's successes had stemmed in the first place from his wonderful

____________________
1
For some useful previous discussion, see J. W. Mackail, "Bentley's Milton", in his Studies in Humanism ( London, 1938), pp. 186-209; Robert E. Bourdette, Jr., "To Milton Lending Sense: Richard Bentley and Paradise Lost (1732)", Milton Quarterly 14 ( 1980): 37- 49; Michael M. Cohen and Robert Bourdette, Jr., "Richard Bentley's Edition of Paradise Lost (1732): A Bibliography", Milton Quarterly 14 ( 1980): 49-54; John K. Hales, "Notes on Richard Bentley's Edition of Paradise Lost", Milton Quarterly 18 ( 1984): 46-50.

-245-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Battle of the Books: History and Literature in the Augustan Age
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - Literature 11
  • Chapter One - Wotton Vs. Temple 13
  • Chapter Two - Bentley Vs. Christ Church 47
  • Chapter Three - Stroke and Counterstroke 85
  • Chapter Four - The Querelle 121
  • Chapter Five - Ancient Greece and Modern Scholarship 148
  • Chapter Six - Pope's Iliad 181
  • Chapter Seven - Pope and the Quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns 218
  • Chapter Eight - Bentley's Milton 245
  • Part Two - History 265
  • Chapter Nine - History and Theory 267
  • Chapter Ten - Ancients 291
  • Chapter Eleven - Moderns 327
  • Chapter Twelve - Ancients and Moderns 374
  • Conclusion 414
  • Index 419
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 428

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.