Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotes

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

At the end of a long project like this one, it gives me joy to recollect all those who have contributed their time, support, and intellectual gifts to help me reach this point. At its inception, EarI Miner, Lawrence Stone, and David Bromwich encouraged me to think beyond the borders of canonical literary study while I was a graduate student at Princeton. ...

A Note on Texts

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pp. xv-xvi

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Introduction

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pp. 3-26

The English Revolution was a revolution in reading. Over twenty-two thousand pamphlets were published between 1640 and 1661, surpassing the output of the French revolutionary press over a hundred years later.1 Readers viewed a drama of political exchange in public, where for the first time in English history, the press was used for open political conflict. ...

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1. Revolution in Print: Lilburne's Jury, Areopagitica, and the Conscientious Public

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pp. 27-70

In 1649, The House of Commons instituted a High Court of justice to try King Charles I, and named commissioners who were to be both judges and jurors in this unique case. The men who were left to call themselves Parliament after the purge in 1648 charged the king with the intent "out of a wicked design to erect and uphold in himself ...

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2. Royalist Reactions: John Cleveland, Babel, and the Divine Right of Language

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pp. 71-101

If John Lilburne appealed over the heads of his formal judges to a public, one he endowed with the authority to judge on grounds of conscience, his vision of a capable public was not always well received. Even those who supported the regicide and defended parliamentary liberty foresaw dangerous consequences to this assumption. ...

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3. Debate and the Drama of Politics in the Public Sphere

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pp. 102-135

Milton wrote in 1644, "where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing" (CPW 2.554). As defenders of the revolutionary public sphere, many partisans agreed with Milton that debate was necessary for resolving disagreements. Oliver Cromwell urged the General Council of the Army in 1647 "that [those who disagreed] should not meet as two contrary parties, but as some desirous to satisfy' or convince each other."1 ...

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4. Reading in the Revolution: Eikonoklastes and the Battle of Perspectives

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pp. 136-176

By 1647, Oliver Cromwell's revolutionary army had defeated Charles's forces on the battlefield and had forced the king to surrender at Oxford. Rather than celebrating their successes, however, Cromwell's army was dividing into factions. The mutiny in the army began with the soldiers' call for back pay, but soon London radicals added their own demands for "fundamental liberties of free-born Englishmen," ...

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5. Milton and the Fit Reader: Paradise Lost and the Parliament of Hell

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pp. 177-223

The anonymous royalist author of We have fish'd and caught a Frog; or, The History of Several new Fishermen (1649) indirectly condemned Cromwell's printing orders and urged a restoration of the rightful king after the execution of Charles: "although every lie be an untruth, yet every seeming untruth is not a lie," this author admitted, revealing a surprising candor about his use of the mode of fiction. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 224-228

In this study of Milton's ideas about his public in his revolutionary prose and major poems, I have chosen to compare Milton's sense of his audience with that of his fellow writers: the pamphleteers, poets, and polemicists of the English Revolution. This comparison brings to light a common impulse in the writing of the period: the desire to shape a new kind of public. ...

Notes

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pp. 229-266

Index

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pp. 267-272