Paradise Lost, 1668-1968: Three Centuries of Commentary

By Earl Miner; William Moeck et al. | Go to book overview


FOR SCHOLARLY ENTERPRISES CONDUCTED INTENSIVELY well over a decade, indebtedness incurred with ease is all too often remembered with difficulty. Some assistance can be found for the debtor and intelligibility detailed for the reader by devising categories and following chronology. Five former Princeton students saved the editor considerable time in the first stage by culling the biblical and classical citations in the variorum editions of Newton and Todd. These include Naomi Rood and Paul M. Anderson, who possess Greek and Latin. Carrie Prettiman, David Sedley, and Amy D. Craig also worked on those editions. At a later date, Paolo Asso provided useful literal translations of Italian texts not available in English. His name appears in notes using his translations, following the practice of naming other translators. And names of some other individuals appear in appropriate notes rather than in this general notice.

Four Princeton colleagues in Classics have cheerfully provided necessary information, verification, and corrections: Elaine Fantham, Andrew Ford, Denis Feeney, and Richard Martin (now at Stanford). Other Princeton colleagues lent assistance: John V. Fleming on medieval matters, Robert Hollander on Dante and related matters, Eileen Reeves on science in the Renaissance, and John Logan on a host of things. Colleagues elsewhere also assisted. James A. Winn of Boston University and Steven Plank (one of my cousins) of Oberlin College advised on seventeenth-century English music. From a number of helpful fellow members of the Milton seminar, two require mention for important specific matters: John Leonard of the University of Western Ontario and Gordon Teskey of Cornell University.

The Princeton University Librarian, Karin Trainer, ensured a study in Firestone Library, and numerous services were provided by the staffs of the departments of Rare Books and Special Collections and of Microforms Service. Financial support was provided by the Princeton Committee on Research. And the Graduate School gave help in the form of Work-Study assistance to the students first named.

Special acknowledgment must be made to Rare Books and Special Collections for permission to use the plates included here and for preparing the necessary photographs. (The Hayman illustrations to Newton's edition were taken from a personal copy.)

It has grown difficult to publish a work as long and as scholarly as this, and it would not have been feasible at all without the assistance that it gives pleasure to record. First of all, although some publishers seemed to have faith in me, it was Greg Clingham, Director of Bucknell University Press, who had faith in our enterprise as well. A considerable subsidy was required, and that was generously provided by joint contributions of the Princeton Committee on Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the recent Dean of the Faculty, Joseph H. Taylor, and an anonymous donor who has come to my aid before. It is fitting and flattering to have this book published by the press that gave the world the Milton encyclopedia.

A long autobiographical chapter, obviously infeasible here, would be required to acknowledge indebtedness over the years to teachers, colleagues, students, libraries, and other institutions.

The editor of this commentary expresses his warmest gratitude to all those named, thinks gratefully of the aid and encouragement of many unnamed, and in closing confesses inadequacy in expressing what Seneca termed the benefits conferred on him by his colleagues as authors in this lengthy enterprise.

The co-editor wishes to thank Judy Waldman, Wayne Furman, and Elie Weitsman for affording easy access to the treasures of the New York Public Library as well as Professors Joseph Wittreich of the City University of New York and Angus Fletcher for their continued guidance and support.

All three editors wish to express their gratitude to Associated University Presses for the extraordinary care in the production of this book. In particular, the work of Laura Rogers, the copy-editor for the crucial first setting, was a model of care and devotion. And Julien Yoseloff, Director of Associated University Presses, brought an imaginative helpfulness that has led to a much better book. He has presided over the making of a complex book with an understanding that we deeply appreciate.


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Paradise Lost, 1668-1968: Three Centuries of Commentary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Preface 9
  • Acknowledgments 11
  • Introduction 15
  • Early Comment 31
  • Book 1 - The Rebel Angels Awaken to Hell's Flames 51
  • Book 2 - Sin Opens the Doors of Hell 97
  • Book 3 - Satan's Hypocrisy Deceives Even Uriel 135
  • Book 4 - God Creates Adam and Eve 165
  • Book 5 - Adam Rids Eve of Satan's Dream 203
  • Book 6 - The Son Expels the Rebel Angels 237
  • Book 7 - Adam and Eve Listen Intently to Raphael 269
  • Book 8 - Raphael Departs After Warning Adam 287
  • Book 9 - The Fall 305
  • Book 10 - The Son Judges and Clothes the Human Pair 335
  • Book 11 - The Vision of Cain Slaying Abel 367
  • Book 12 - The Expulsion 393
  • The Illustrations 421
  • Excursus 1.50 427
  • Excursus 2.921 435
  • Excursus 2.967 439
  • Excursus 3.19 447
  • Excursus 5.791 451
  • Excursus 6.327 457
  • Excursus 6.616 461
  • Excursus 7.126 467
  • Excursus 7.594 471
  • Excursus 8.136 479
  • Excursus 9.512 489
  • Excursus 10.425 495
  • Excursus 11.385 499
  • Excursus 12.553 501
  • Bibliography 505


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