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John Milton: The Self and the World (Studies in the English Renaissance) Hardcover – December, 1992

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in the English Renaissance
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky; First edition (December 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813118085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813118086
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,375,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book offers a wealth of insights into Milton's works. Not attempting to supersede William Riley Parker's two-volume Milton: A Biography ( LJ 2/15/69) as the standard life, Shawcross delves into some of the less explored areas of the poet's career, such as his relationship with Charles Diodati and the liberating effect of the death of Milton's mother. He makes a good case against those who regard Milton as a misogynist and defends the often neglected, sometimes maligned prose writings. When the study examines Milton's psyche, the results are less happy: any careful writer may be viewed as having an anal personality, and the case for homoeroticism remains unproved. Still, except for occasional lapses into Jungian jargon, the book reads well. All students of Milton will find the study thought-provoking.
- Joseph Rosenblum , Univ. of North Carolina - Greensboro
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Reveals much about its subject, especially as a young man." -- Albion

"The careful readings, the precise chronologies, and the learned attention to symbol from etymology to archetype make this biographical account of Milton one that scholars will have to both wrestle with and, for the most part, accede to, however reluctantly, for a long time to come." -- Book Review Corner

"An engaging and necessary read for anyone interested in Milton's great poems." -- Kritikon Litterarum

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent companion piece to Milton studies, whether one is an undergraduate reading Milton for the first time, or a Milton scholar of a quarter-century's standing. Prof. Shawcross is recognized by his peers as the premier authority for Milton biography among scholars living today, and his former teacher, William Parker, held that rank for the previous generation. Though its approach is sufficiently psychological to earn it a classification among the works of that discipline by Library of Congress, it is densely populated by matters biographical. It addresses textual issues intermingled with a reliable account of the events of Milton's life, and includes a goldmine of insights gleaned over the decades of Prof. Shawcross's own meticulous readings, making Milton's works not only more comprehensible to the novice, but enriching the experience of reading them even for an "old hand."
Prof. Shawcross's writing style is lucid and non-pedantic, and the effort is a masterful one (not surprising, to anyone who knows his previous output). Like Nicolson's _Reader's Guide_ of several decades ago, _The Self and the World_ provides the rich background modern students need to understand the relevance of Milton studies to today's world -- only it does so even more successfully, in my opinion (and I have the greatest respect for Prof. Nicolson's work).
I would recommend this book to anyone teaching or studying Milton, at any level of expertise -- without reservation.
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