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Paradise Lost (Norton Critical Editions) Paperback – 17 Mar 1993

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Product details

  • Paperback: 698 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.; 2nd Revised edition edition (17 Mar 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393962938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393962932
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,336,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English poet. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Monk on 25 Aug 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Ms. R. Grant on 16 Feb 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. Featherstone on 19 Jan 2006
Format: Paperback
A work almost without parallel in terms of length and epic nature, the blind Milton beautifully captures what he believes in relation to the creation story. Using a blend of Greek myth from his extensive knowledge of classical literature, polemic verse which is at times intoxicating (particularly in the presentation of the quasi-hero Satan), and his own religious convictions, Milton presents at once a complex and enthralling tale. It also seems to reveal his inner difficulties with the subject matter, as the many fascinating contradictions regarding pre destination and Adam and Eve¡¦s position as free beings suggest. William Blake pointed out that the ease which Milton found talking about Satan instead of God suggested that he was like many other poets, ¡¥of the devils party without knowing it.¡¦ To read it is a pleasure devotedly to be wished (the best version is probably the Penguin Classics), but expect to be challenged and provoked in equal measure. This edition is without a doubt the best you can buy, with an outstanding introduction, ¡¥Table of Dates,¡¦ ¡¥Further Reading¡¦ section, and a ¡¥Note on the text.¡¦ The Notes at the back of the book are nearly always insightful and useful, and try as much as possible to be accurate about the possibly source for each of Milton¡¦s numerous literary references, most of them to the Classical authors and to Greek mythology. Highly Recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Tempest on 6 Sep 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This is not an exact or complete replica of the current Penguin Classics edition [ISBN 0-140-42439-3] Paradise Lost (Penguin Classics). Apart from the different cover and absent back cover, this Kindle mobi edition leaves out the following sections from the Penguin Classics edition: Introduction; Table of Dates; Further Reading; Note on the Text; Marvell 'On Paradise Lost'; and the detailed Notes section provided at the end of the Penguin Classics edition. The text of this edition also leaves out Milton's 'Argument's which precede each Book of Paradise Lost. Line numbers are omitted in the presentation of the text (compared with Penguin's which provides line numbers at intervals of 5 lines) - though one common fault of Kindle editions is that line numbers are usually jammed into the body of the text disruptively instead of being placed on hanging indents to the left of the column of verse. In the Penguin Classics printed edition the text has been partially modernized - spelling has been modernized, most capitals reduced [a word in all capitals is reduced to a capital for the first letter only, words whose first letters are capitalized are all in lower case], and most italics removed. This Kindle edition appears to retain the spelling and typographical stylistics of 17th century printed editions, though without any italicisation. My review evaluation of three stars represents the loss of the additional material present in the printed Penguin Classics edition, rather than value for money, which at 49p seems reasonable enough.
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