excellent and long overdue ... Hammond's is the first book-length, in-depth study of the very basis of Miltonas politics, his complex attitudes toward his fellow countrymen. In eminently readable and sometimes witty prose exhibiting a comprehensive knowledge of the intellectual, linguistic, and political contexts in which Milton wrote, Hammond traces Milton's shifting attitudes toward the English people from his Prolusions to Samson Agonistes ... Its linguistic scholarship is so replete and its prose so lucid. Hugh Jenkins, Milton Quarterly This is a distinguished book, combining close reading of Miltonic texts with sensitivity to their political, religious and intellectual contexts. Hammond's argument is deeply learned, elegantly written and full of fresh insights that open up significant new perspectives on Milton's conceptions of 'the people' and 'the vulgar'. David L. Smith, English Historical Review When Milton sets out an argument for the superiority of the virtuous minority in his Defensio Secunda, Hammond observes that the shift from the subjunctive to the indicative in Latin exemplifies the triumph of hope over experience (p. 176). It is details like that, so pellucidly expressed, that make this book a great read. N. K. Sugimura, The Review of English Studies
About the Author
is Professor of Seventeenth-Century English Literature at the University of Leeds, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He was previously a Prize Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.