From Publishers Weekly
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“It's a crucial part of the biographer's job to lead readers back through the life to the work. Beer does this very steadily and very well, and thereby gives Milton the anniversary present he deserves.” ―Guardian
“Ms Beer roots Milton in his period very well, both historically and physically--in the streets of booksellers and printing presses around St Paul's cathedral in London.” ―The Economist
“Beer gives a persuasive reading of the power and complexity of Paradis Lost, arguably the greatest religious poem in the English language.” ―Times (London)
“How refreshing to find Anna Beer's new biography, which takes Milton as a real, whole, complex person. Beer's Milton is a writer of prodigious creativity, in Latin and English, prose and verse, but he always relates to his time and place, in the teeming, cruel streets of London and the brilliant academies of Italy. She gives us clear, common-sense readings of the literature, vivid evocations of the social and political world, and probing yet sympathetic analyses of Milton's own emotional states, when he was ‘in love with a man' or an ideal. The biographer and the subject share the qualities that he himself most valued in poetry: simple, sensuous and passionate.” ―James Grantham Turner, author of One Flesh: Paradisal Marriage and Sexual Relations in the Age of Milton and Schooling Sex: Libertine Literature and Erotic Education in Italy, France, and England 1534-1685
“Anna Beer offers the most readable biography yet of the author of the most important poem in the English language. No one in the last 400 years has produced such a comprehensive portrait of the private man, the public citizen, the sublime poet, and the age he lived in.” ―Jack Lynch, author of Becoming Shakespeare: The Unlikely Afterlife that Turned a Provincial Playwright into the Bard
“This is a beautifully clear account of a richly complex life, an account which is also fascinatingly vivid on the political and social background of the time. It's the best narrative I've read of the life of our greatest public poet.” ―Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass