Finely bound subscriber's edition of Paradise Lost with notes by Bishop Thomas Newton and a Life of the Author

  • Paradise Lost: With The Life of the Author and A Critical Dissertation on the Poetical Works of Milton by Samuel Johnson.
  • Paradise Lost: With The Life of the Author and A Critical Dissertation on the Poetical Works of Milton by Samuel Johnson.
  • Paradise Lost: With The Life of the Author and A Critical Dissertation on the Poetical Works of Milton by Samuel Johnson.
  • Paradise Lost: With The Life of the Author and A Critical Dissertation on the Poetical Works of Milton by Samuel Johnson.
  • Paradise Lost: With The Life of the Author and A Critical Dissertation on the Poetical Works of Milton by Samuel Johnson.
  • Paradise Lost: With The Life of the Author and A Critical Dissertation on the Poetical Works of Milton by Samuel Johnson.

Paradise Lost: With The Life of the Author and A Critical Dissertation on the Poetical Works of Milton by Samuel Johnson.

$975.00

Item Number: 95290

London: Printed for J. Parsons, 1796.

Finely bound subscriber’s edition of  Milton’s Paradise Lost with notes by Bishop Thomas Newton. Octavo, bound in full red morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised gilt bands, gilt rules with floral gilt borders to the front and rear panels, inner dentelles, all edged gilt, marbled endpapers, ribbon bound in, illustrated with engravings, advertisements, list of subscribers, and index. Also containing the Life of Milton and A Critical Dissertation on the Poetical Works of Milton by Samuel Johnson. In near fine condition. An exceptional example.

First published in 1667, “Paradise Lost is generally conceded to be one of the greatest poems in the English language; and there is no religious epic in English which measures up to Milton’s masterpiece… Milton performed an artist’s service to his God” (Magill, 511, 515). The writer and critic Samuel Johnson wrote that Paradise Lost shows off "[Milton's] peculiar power to astonish" and that "[Milton] seems to have been well acquainted with his own genius, and to know what it was that Nature had bestowed upon him more bountifully than upon others: the power of displaying the vast, illuminating the splendid, enforcing the awful, darkening the gloomy, and aggravating the dreadful." By 1688, when England was on the verge of the Whig revolution, Milton's reputation had revived considerably. He was commended for his republicanism as well as his record as a defender of liberty. His supporters believed that his greatest poetic achievement merited this handsome, monumental edition. One of the earliest examples of subscription publishing, financed by Lord Somers, the fourth edition of Paradise Lost was the first to be printed in folio format and is the first illustrated edition, distinguished by high quality paper, large, clear type, and ample margins. Milton had previously reorganized the poem into twelve books (by splitting Books 7 and 10 of the original) to parallel Virgil's Aeneid more closely.

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