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.