Let's just start with the obvious. This an awesome (and I use that word advisedly) poem.
Turning to this edition specifically (and really it deserves 4.5 stars).
Positives: 1. The 'translation' is very good and gets over the rather 'haphazard' spelling (and to be fair there was no standard spelling in those days) of the original. 2. Also this is a nicely produced book with a good clear font making it easy to read with many helpful notes. 3. Good brief introduction. 4. It's very affordable!
Minus points (to be fair none is major): 1. at times rather banal/obvious notes eg just opening the book randomly I found the following: - p.139 'unsucceeded - eternal, with no successor', p40 'want - lacking', p. 183 'end - both completion & object' and I could give many more. Now many of the notes are very useful and interesting but when you're reading the poem seeing a note and then reading the obvious is irritating. I just think "you interrupted the flow to tell me that!". 2. In the introduction there is a tendency to over emphasise Milton's non-conformist even unorthodox stance. While that may be true (and I'm no Milton scholar) this is not so relevant for the poem itself which is basically & surprisingly orthodox. It leaves me wondering 'what's the beef' here? 3. Finally a very, very subjective comment but ... 'I hate the cover art'. Given the great art this poem has inspired, just think Blake or Dore, why choose 'that' but I suspect others will disagree and that's fine.
Overall A 'good buy' especially if you want to carry it round/take it on holiday and just enjoy the glory of Milton's vision and verse.
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