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And from thence returning thro ' France , the same way that he had gone before ,
he arrived safe in England , after al peregrination of one year and about three
months , having seen more , and learned more , and conversed with more
... published his two books , Of Reformation in England , written to a friend . About
the same time certain ministers having publilhed a treatise against episcopacy ,
in answer to the Humble Remonstrance of Dr . Jeseph The Life of MILTON . xiss.
And in an eclogue , made foon after his return to England upon the death of his
friend and schoolfellow Deodati , he proposed the same design and the same
subject , and declared his ambition of writing something in his native language ...
... of Canterbury : so that tho ' Milton was forced to make use of different hands to
write his verses from time to time as he had occasion , yet we may suppose that
the copy for the press was written all , or at least each book by the same hand .
And this was probably all that he received ; for he lived not to enjoy the benefits of
the second edition , which was not published till the year 1674 , and that same
year he died . The second edition was printed in a small octavo , and was ...
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Chronicles the rise and fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Begins with the crowning of the Son of God, moves to Lucifer's rebellion and fall, the beginning of the Earth, the birth of Adam and Eve, and how they fell prey to Satan's fraud.
Written in 10 syllable per line prose, which must have been very difficult. Milton was blind, which makes the accomplishment even more amazing. Parts of the book were wonderfully written (the battles with Satan, Eden, the creation of the Earth, the coming events as Adam and Eve are escorted from Eden by Archangel Michael), but others are difficult with many references to Greek characters. I'm sure Milton was brilliant, but those parts don't add much for me and make it seem as though he's being pretentious. I also disliked the way all the characters addressed each other: "Lo, great angel from Heaven, graceful and true of spirit." The pictures of the story in the book, while they received vast praise in the preface, were forgettable.
Still, I can't get away from the amazing work that Milton put here. My only real compliant was the blatant sexism that Adam had for Eve, assuming she was always inferior to him. That is no longer the way of the world, and I doubt Adam would have treated Eve thusly. Sin, Death. Satan, Michael and Raphael were my favorite characters, all providing memorable lines.