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Paradise Lost (Modern Library) [Paperback]

John Milton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

9 Sep 2008 0375757961 978-0375757969 Modern Library Pbk. Ed
John Milton s Paradise Lost, an epic poem on the clash between God and his fallen angel, Satan, is a profound meditation on fate, free will, and divinity, and one of the most beautiful works in world literature. Extracted from the Modern Library s highly acclaimed The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, this edition reflects up-to-date scholarship and includes a substantial Introduction, fresh commentary, and other features annotations on Milton s classical allusions, a chronology of the writer s life, clean page layouts, and an index that make it the definitive twenty-first-century presentation of John Milton s timeless signature work.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library Inc; Modern Library Pbk. Ed edition (9 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375757961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375757969
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,029,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description


Meticulously edited, full of tactful annotations that set the stage for his work and his times, this edition brings Milton, as a poet and a thinker, vividly alive before us. --Robert Hass, winner of the National Book Award

In this landmark edition, teachers will discover a powerful ally in bringing the excitement of Milton s poetry and prose to new generations of students. --William C. Dowling, Rutgers University

This magnificent edition gives us everything we need to read Milton intelligently and with fresh perception. --William H. Pritchard, Amherst College

About the Author

John Milton (1608-74) was one of England s greatest poets and a master of polemical prose. He was a private tutor and served as Secretary for Foreign Tongues under Oliver Cromwell. William Kerrigan, former president of the Milton Society of America and recipient of its award for lifetime achievement, is professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts. John Rumrich is the author of Matter of Glory and Milton Unbound. He is Thaman Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. Stephen M. Fallon, author of Milton s Peculiar Grace and Milton among the Philosophers, is professor of liberal studies and English at the University of Notre Dame.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Most Beautiful Book 16 Feb 2008
I had to read Paradise Lost for my University degree and I began reading a Penguin copy. I was bored stiff; although the text itself was as wonderful as one would expect of the epic to rule all epics, the font was small and it made difficult reading for my rather short-sighted eyes.

So I asked for the illustrated edition for Christmas, and this version is what I got and I am eternally grateful to my parent's for purchasing it for me, it's a thing of beauty.

The merits of Paradise Lost itself are well known - it's magnificently written, powerful and breathtaking throughout - so I will not repeat what has been said many times before and instead I will focus on the particulars of this particular edition.

The text itself is printed clearly and it is very easy to read, also, unlike the other edition I owned, there are speech marks indicating when characters are talking, a feature missing from my other copy. However, as another reviewer has mentioned, there are no notes and the lines are not numbered, except for a reference at the top of each page.

However, the best feature of this particular edition of Paradise Lost is the illustrations; they really bring every word to life. Milton describes events that are set on an incredible scale; he describes heaven, earth hell and what lies in between them. The illustrations by Gustave Doré - all fifty of them are here - visualize the imagery to perfection. The print quality of the illustrations is excellent, and the large size of the book ensures that they are exhibited as they deserve to be.

Paradise Lost deserves its status as one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written, and Gustave Doré deserves to be known as one of the most talented illustrators.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Because everyone loves a good anti-hero. 27 Jun 2010
By Blink
I'm sure the reviewers of other editions of this book have already said (more elegantly than I) how influential this work is. An epic poem that tells of the plight of the fallen angel Lucifer, the creation of Adam and Eve and the Fall of Man, Paradise Lost is drama on a grand scale; biblical, in all senses of the word. Lucifer is presented here as a true anti-hero, a noble rebel, a seductive character whom you find yourself cheering on as he fights to overthrow God himself. It is ambitious. It is a little blasphemous. And above all, it is beautifully written.

As a literature student, I owe a lot to the Norton Critical Edition folk. Their exhaustive compilation of essays, footnotes and references makes understanding the text easy and enjoyable. For instance, this copy of Paradise Lost contains not only a wealth of footnotes but a Glossary explaining every location mentioned by Milton, relevant sections from the Bible, a rich "Criticism" section that contains essays by the likes of Voltaire, Blake, Samuel Johnson, and T.S. Eliot as well as a short biography of Milton himself. It's all any student, scholar or book-lover needs.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, beautifully presented. 25 Aug 2011
I have to confess that I'd twice started reading "Paradise Lost" and not got very far with it because of the density of the language (think Shakespeare, you'll not be far off). But the themes were so much of interest to me that I wanted to give it another go and thought that an edition with Dore's always amazing illustrations might do the trick.

And, lo, it came to pass. This time around I really got into it and the language didn't seem to be any problem at all. It's hard to think of much in English literature that can compete with the incredible war in Heaven and fall into Hell. The only thing I could compare it to would be "The Ramayana".

It's a fascinating piece of writing, it's chief interest to me being the way Satan's fall from grace is paralleled with the fall of Adam and Eve. Milton gives the good guys, God, his son, hosts of angels, all the magnificence and exaltation that one would expect, but Satan is a remarkable character and there's no doubt that he gets all the good lines. I'm sure that Milton regarded himself as a good Christian, but it's easy to see that the time of unquestioning loyalty to God was coming to an end.

So, it turns out to be the masterpiece that it's always held to be. And I echo my fellow reviewer in saying that this is a lovely edition, very well produced. Dore's engravings, fifty of them, are a thing of beauty.

Very highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Roman Clodia TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As Blake so rightly says, Milton's Satan is the true hero of PL - however unwittingly and however horrified Milton might have been to think it. Rebellious, over-reaching, full of pride and arrogance, he yet leaps off the page at us with his intelligence and his rhetoric and his plots.

In a way it's not that surprising: taking classical epic as his model, Milton creates an anti-hero in the mould of Achilles, also driven by pride and the urge to impose himself on his world. One of the many pleasures of Milton's great narrative poem is precisely the identifications of classical epic conventions and the innovative uses to which he puts them.

It seems it's not fashionable to read poetry these days, especially not narrative poetry (as opposed to `personal' lyric) but it's a huge shame to miss out on writing as thrilling as Milton's. With his great rolling sentences and complex diction it might take a little while to get into his rhythm but the effort is well worth it. From the opening scene where Satan and his minions are thrown out of heaven, to the quiet ending as Adam and Eve walk hand in hand away from Eden, Paradise Lost truly is a reading experience to savour.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong book
I bought this to look at 'Paradise Lost'. However I ended up with the whole text of the Demonologist, which is a horror story. If you want 'Paradise' buy a different version.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. S. Partridge
3.0 out of 5 stars very difficult
this poem was a very difficult read and said in hours what the bible said in about 10 verses but interesting
Published 3 months ago by bramwellclark
3.0 out of 5 stars Milton is still great
Line numbers are included in every line which makes reading a bit disjointed and prevents the flow. The introduction is useless.
Published 3 months ago by Will
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
The illustrations in this book are just beautiful and I am so pleased that i paid out for this copy rather than the penguin copy :)
Published 4 months ago by Hannah L. Clark
1.0 out of 5 stars Difficult read
This is supposedly a classic so I felt I OUGHT to read it.... it is of course based on the bible and you may enjoy it more than I did if you are a Christian. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Shoe-aholic
2.0 out of 5 stars Simply didn't enjoy it.
A very different interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve and not one I enjoyed. While I can see the literary merit of it, it is a book I didn't really enjoy and one that I... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Rachel
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Bonus
I was looking for a copy of Paradise Lost so the bonus material was just that, a Bonus. Paradise Lost is just as expected, The Demonologist material was good, will probably... Read more
Published 9 months ago by SMB
3.0 out of 5 stars not for me
with the book being written in an old form of english it was very hard to understand many aspects and for me made the book very difficult to read. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Obsidian
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy!
Everything I would expect from a book I've been told I have to read: heavy-going, verbose, ponderous but a definite classic of English lit!
Published 11 months ago by APBrown
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
It was deliviered without any problems and was an amazing read. Read it during my second year of uni and currenty doing it for my English dissertation
Published 12 months ago by ItsLana
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