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John Milton (1608-1674)

John Milton was born in London, the son of a wealthy financial agent. He was educated at St. Paul's School and Christ's College, Cambridge, gaining his MA in 1632. He then continued to study classical and European literature from his parent's home in Buckinghamshire at the same time producing some of his early works such as Lycidas and Comus.

In the late 1630's he travelled to the Continent where he met, among others, Galileo and Grotius. A staunch republican, he served as Latin secretary to Oliver Cromwell during the Commonwealth, employing Andrew Marvell as his assistant as his eyesight declined. After the restoration of Charles II his life was probably saved by his fame as a poet. He was thrice married, his first two wives dying after childbirth.

Milton's poetry reflects his scholarly brilliance and classical style and his epic masterpieces, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes were completed towards the end of his life.

Lycidas
On His Blindness
L'Allegro
To Mr. Lawrence
To Cyriack Skinner
On His Deceased Wife
  Light
Il Penseroso
At a Solemn Musick
On Time
Hymn on the Morning of Christ's Nativity


A Life of John Milton A Life of John Milton
A.N. Wilson

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