"Lycidas" Celebrated

"Lycidas" Celebrated

The Mensa meeting in Chicago on October 29-November 1 includes a Milton item illustrating Milton’s remarkable modern currency, with a presentation of "a definitive reading of his 'Lycidas' “ by John Scanlon. Details of his presentation can be found at, The full program of the Mensa conference is at

New Milton Course at the Osher Institute U.C. Berkeley

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute : 26 January - 1 March 2016: Mondays 1-3 p.m. in room 41B University Hall, U.C. Berkeley

Instructor: Hugh Macrae Richmond, Professor of English Emeritus UCB, D.Phil (Oxford U.) B.A. (Cambridge U.). Author of The Christian Revolutionary: John Milton; and John Milton’s Drama of Paradise Lost. Producer of performances of Comus, Paradise Lost and of the video documentary Milton by Himself.


"Paradise Lost" Series in the Guardian (London newspaper)

Michael Gillum mgillum at reports, in the Milton-L blog, that there is an eight-part series of essays on John Milton in the London Guardian newspaper not found in JSTOR. He observes that they have a lucid, poised approach which may be appropriate for undergraduate background-reading. The author is an Anglican priest, formerly Fellow in English at Cambridge.

The reference is

Digital Humanities at U.C. Berkeley: Milton

Mellon grant advances Berkeley’s Digital Humanities

By Public Affairs, UC Berkeley | December 2, 2014

With a $2 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UC Berkeley will be making major advances in the integration of digital tools and technologies in humanities scholarship and teaching.

“Digital tools and methods such as data visualization, GIS, statistics, and text mining can have a transformative effect on research and teaching in the humanities, particularly with the mass digitization of texts and artwork. But they are unfamiliar to many humanities scholars and learning to use them effectively requires an investment of time and resources,” said Anthony J. Cascardi, UC Berkeley’s Irving and Jean Stone Dean of Arts and Humanities and principal investigator on the grant.

Comus in Art

Miltonists will be very interested in Jan Piggott’s new study of the artistic impact of Milton’s Comus:

Piggott, Jan. “Milton's Comus: from Text to Stage, the Fine Arts, and Book-illustration, c. 1750-1850.” [23 illustrations] British Art Journal XV.2 (Winter 2014-15), 18-32.

This essay reflects the remarkably sustained involvement of the Fine Arts with Milton’s composition, suggesting an impact far greater than its modest status in literary criticism. Above all it makes clear from its artistic reflections that the work has had a sustained performance history, which has inspired many of these treatments (including several modern productions at U.C. Berkeley, as recorded on our website at The essay should prove to be a required reference for all future treatments of the Masque. With best wishes, Hugh Richmond

Milton Marathon: University of Richmond

Schwartz, Louis 9:42 AM (14 minutes ago)

Just letting people who might be in or near the Richmond, VA area on February 28th know that my seminar students will be hosting a marathon reading of Paradise Lost on Saturday February 28th.

We’ll start at 7:30 pm in the Whitehurst Living Room, in Whitehurst Hall (near the Richmond College Dorms on the University of Richmond campus). The reading will continue through dawn on Sunday morning.

All are welcome to participate. Simply feel free to join the readers’ circle and to stay for all or just part of the night. Bring a copy of the poem, if you have one. Copies will also be available at the reading, if you don’t. Light refreshments (and lots of coffee!) will also be available, but feel free to bring your own food and/or drink to share.

For more information, please contact Louis Schwartz (804)-289-8315 or email:

The War Between Michael and Lucifer

C. S. Lewis Society Bay Area Book and Film Club Meets bi-weekly Wednesdays

Wednesday, January 14 and 28, 2015: Soldier Boy: The War Between Michael & Lucifer, by Raymond Dennehy; leader/moderator, José Yulo, Ph.D. A Socratic dialogue between heaven and hell, Soldier Boy follows in the rich tradition of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters.

"Paradise Lost" as Oral Epic


Hugh Macrae Richmond

Much literature was written for oral performance or may gain from it, not just drama but lyrics and narratives, as the successful staging of many a novel confirms. Specifically, many early epics were composed for recitation, from Homer’s Iliad to the Chanson de Roland. Teaching is mostly oral performance, requiring dynamism, pacing, diversity, and progression. Our experience at U.C. Berkeley is that performance by theatre professionals, faculty, or students themselves greatly increases the impact and intelligibility of most assigned texts. In addition to numerous plays of Shakespeare, and both Milton’s Comus and Paradise Lost, we have successfully staged works as different as dialogues of Plato, St. Paul’s letters, incantations by the witch Celestina of Rojas, speeches of Cervantes’ Don Quixote and even parts of Pope’s The Rape of the Lock,