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A Variorum Commentary on the Poems of John Milton

Volume 5, Part 4 [Paradise Lost, Book 4]

By Cheryl H. Fresch; Edited by P. J. Klemp

Publication Year: 1970

This variorum edition of the poem, the first part to appear on Paradise Lost, presents a comprehensive and detailed narrative survey of the critical responses to Paradise Lost, book 4, from 1695 through 1970. From notes on individual words or phrases to lengthy essays on the characters, setting, action, and themes of book 4, the variorum reveals the ever-changing and enduring topics of scholarly concern to readers of this book of Paradise Lost for nearly 300 years.

This indispensable reference tool efficiently, conveniently, and succinctly presents the most important commentary of Milton’s earliest editors and critics. It demonstrates the historical development of Milton scholarship as Fresch’s narrative overview relates that recovered critical material to the twentieth century criticism on Paradise Lost, book 4. It traces the rise and fall, and sometimes the endurance, of a variety of approaches to Milton’s text—from source studies to reader-response criticism. Gathering, organizing, and clarifying the criticism from 1695 through 1970, this volume establishes a point of departure, a stepping-off place for future critical inquiries. This critical variorum insists that while much is known, much still remains to be known about the fourth book of Paradise Lost.

Published by: Duquesne University Press


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Front Matter

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Abbreviations of Milton’s Writings

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xvi

A Variorum Commentary on the Poems of John Milton has been a work in progress for over half a century. Another step in bringing closure to that monumental work, this volume on Book 4 of Paradise Lost, like the volume on Samson Agonistes published by Duquesne University Press in 2009, is a tangible sign of the scholarly continuity that exists between...

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pp. xvii-xviii

I most gratefully acknowledge the advice, encouragement, and support of those colleagues and friends who have helped to make this publication possible. Several research grants awarded by the Research Allocation Committee at the University of New Mexico permitted me to undertake the early work on this book at the Huntington Library in San Marino...

A Note on the Annotations

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pp. xix-xx

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Paradise Lost, Book 4

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pp. 1-464

1–12. Book 4 opens with the narrator invoking the voice of John the Divine in the book of Revelation, and that association has received sustained critical attention. While Patrick Hume (131) explains that John the Divine and John the writer of the Gospel are one and the same...


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pp. 465-494


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pp. 495-508

E-ISBN-13: 9780820705026
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820704425

Page Count: 528
Illustrations: none
Publication Year: 1970

Volume Title: A Variorum Commentary on the Poems of John Milton

OCLC Number: 794698803
MUSE Marc Record: Download for A Variorum Commentary on the Poems of John Milton