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John Milton Printed Works

Date range: 17th-20th centuries

Number of items: 500 items (dispersed).

The Library holds around five hundred works by or about the English poet and polemicist John Milton (1608-1674).

The items available in first edition include [Comus], A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle (London: Humphrey Robinson, 1637); Areopagitica: A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicenc'd Printing (London: [n. pub.], 1644), and Eikonoklastes: In Answer to a Book Intitl'd Eikon Basilike (London: M. Simmons, 1649).

There are no less that six variant issues of the first edition of Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost (London, 1667-69), plus a copy of the the fourth edition, 'adorn'd with sculptures' (London: Jacob Tonson, 1688). This is the first illustrated edition of the poem. Later editions include illustations by Francis Hayman (London: J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper, 1749) and Gustave Doré (London: Cassell Petter Galpin & Co., [1866]), plus fine press editions by John Baskerville (Birmingham, 1758), the Foulis Press (Glasgow, 1770) and the Doves Press (Hammersmith, 1902).

The Library also holds a copy of the otherwise unremarkable Justa Edouardo King/Obsequies to the Memoire of Mr Edward King (Cambridge: Thomas Buck and Roger Daniel, 1638), in which 'Lycidas', composed the previous year, made its first appearance under the initials 'J. M.'.

There is a collection of Milton's tracts on divorce, including the second, much enlarged, edition of The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce Restored to the Good of Both Sexes (London: [n. pub.], 1644), born of his own hapless experience of matrimony. His controversial pamphlets against episcopacy are also present.

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