The New Historicists Are Coming!

The New Historicists are Coming!

The American Scholar for Autumn 2017 has a review by Sarah Ruden of a new book by Stephen Greenblatt, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve, Norton, 432 pp. $27.95. She says “For the New Historicism, which stresses context over text, the reception of this tale is the ultimate playground.” She records that the book  also covers how “Milton was to have three wives in all, and enshrined marriage as hard work in a great poem: the erotic and companionable love of couples was fraught and permeated with tragedy” For more detail see:


In another review the New York Times Book Review 10/8/17 Marilynne Robinson writes:

Paradise Lost Illustrations by Terrance Lindall

Two new major Milton publications in 2017 to contain   

               Lindall's work for Paradise Lost


From: Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Yuko Nii

Terrance Lindall's illustrations for Paradise Lost will be featured in ‘Paradise Lost and the Private Presses’, a catalog for a major exhibit of private press books in the collection of James Freemantle at Milton's Cottage in England. 

Milton Conference 11/3-5/17


SAMLA 89 Conference, Atlanta, GA. November 3-5


Milton: This panel welcomes scholarly papers on any subject pertaining to John Milton. Paper proposals addressing the SAMLA 89 theme, “High Art/Low Art: Borders and Boundaries in Popular Culture,” are especially welcome. Potential topics include Milton and popular culture, Milton in performance, Milton’s prose as high or low art, Milton and multimedia or digital humanities, artistic renderings of Milton or his works, and musical or literary reinterpretations. By June 21, please submit a 250-word abstract, a brief bio, and A/V requirements to Dr. Matt Dolloff, Georgia State University, at or Dr. Olin Bjork, University of Houston–Downtown, at


"Paradise Lost" Another Screening?

According to Stewart Clarke in Variety, Martin Freeman will be executive producer for a TV adaptation of Paradise Lost, and he may also appear on screen. Freeman said: “’Paradise Lost’ is epic, exciting, and surprisingly modern. And maybe the first time the devil gets all the best tunes!” Production company Dancing Ledge signed Freeman, and its CEO Laurence Bowen described Paradise Lost as “a biblical Game Of Thrones” involving “an internecine world of political intrigue and incredible violence.”

Theatrical Milton: A Fresh Study



Milton Revealed takes great pleasure in announcing the publication of a major development in its field by one of its principal contributors, Brendan Prawdzik, who created the site's bibliography on Milton and Theatricality, which has been one of its most visited items. Here are the details of the publication:


Theatrical Milton: Politics and Poetics of the Staged Body

Brendan Prawdzik

Series: Edinburgh Critical Studies in Renaissance Culture    Copyright Date: 2017   Published by: Edinburgh University Press    Pages: 256 Stable URL:    ISBN: 978-1-4744-2102-7

Theatrical Milton  Book Description:

Shakespeare and Milton

Shakespeare and Milton

The recent Milton anniversary triggered some interesting discussions of his current literary status, particularly in comparison with Shakespeare’s. One is recorded on YouTube at:

“Shakespeare vs Milton: The Kings of English Literature Debate”

Another more focused comparison by Hugh Richmond appears at under the heading:

Proto-Feminism: Seductions in Shakespeare and Milton

Comments are most welcome at

Milton's Cottage Trust

Terrance Lindall via Check out the online Milton Brochure of the Yuko Nii Foundation Milton Collection here:

Dear Miltonists:

As some of you know, John Dugdale Bradley, Trustee of Milton’s Cottage Trust, Buckinghamshire England, has been invited to speak at the Milton Society of America's annual dinner in Philadelphia on 7th January 2017 to launch the Paradise Maintain’d Endowment Fund. This aims to raise Permanent Endowment Funds of $5,000,000 over the next 2 years to sustain Milton’s Cottage museum, literary garden and its remarkable history. See

How would Milton Feel? via

Thank you, Hugh for the review. I saw the production last night and overheard on exiting the theatre: "Milton's probably turning in his grave, the old sod. Well, serves him right". I'm interested in the comment about communicating the author's original point-of-view: what do you think Milton would have made of the production? Or is that the wrong question to be asking? Best, Michelle

Dear Michelle:
As I said in my review the idealism of many parts of Comus was often presented ironically in the performance - even the attempts at seduction were unconvincing. Much of the action was crude and brutal. As to exactly how Milton might have reacted to these elements of the performance, we get a clue from his reactions to similarly crude performances in his time at his own university:

John Milton’s "Comus" at the Wanamaker Playhouse

The temporary reign of Emma Rice as Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe has been sustained by a lively production in the indoor Wanamaker Theatre of John Milton’s masque, Comus, which validates the work’s unexpectedly long professional performance history (shown by the program notes of Jan Piggott). Despite charges against Rice of repudiating one of the Globe’s historical missions of recreating original performance styles, this production, directed by Lucy Bailey, was visually authentic: costumes were Caroline, and the performance made use of characteristic devices from the Inigo Jones/Ben Jonson masque tradition from which Milton’s script directly derived.