Author(s): Anna Beer
For centuries John Milton, author of "Paradise Lost" and many other poetic works, and of radical pamphlets on free speech, divorce and political rights, has emerged from biographies as a woman-hating domestic tyrant or a saintly blind man. But, as Anna Beer shows, his personal life was just as rich and complex as his professional one. By close and groundbreaking analysis of Milton's careful editing of his own life, his wider family's affairs, the records of his government work, and the history of England during one of its most tumultuous periods of social and cultural life, Beer brings both the poet and his period to vivid life.
Major celebrations for Milton's quatercentenary year in 2008The first biography to take full account of the latest researchBeer is particularly good on the nature of marriage and society in seventeenth-century England
'Will keep Milton scholars happy, and serve as a reliable guide to non-specialists ... It's a crucial part of the biographer's job to lead readers back through the life to the work. Beer does this very steadily and very well, and thereby gives Milton the anniversary present he deserves' Andrew Motion, Guardian 'A beautifully clear account of a richly complex life, an account which is also fascinatingly vivid on the political and social background of the time. It's the best narrative I've read of the life of our greatest public poet' Philip Pullman 'It succeeds magnificently in three key respects: it illuminates Milton's life, his tumultuous times and the dazzling richness of his literary output ... Beer vividly evokes Milton's worlds ... Perhaps the greatest compliment that one can pay this book is that, having finished it, one is immediately inspired to return to Milton's works' ***** John Adamson, Mail on Sunday 'This is a noble project, and Beer's biography is a worthy first step towards it: scholarly, serious and endlessly fascinating ... a splendidly patient and careful biography' Diane Purkiss, Telegraph
Anna Beer is Lecturer in Literature within the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Kellogg College. She is the author of the acclaimed Bess: The Life of Lady Ralegh, Wife to Sir Walter, and of an earlier academic study of Sir Walter Ralegh's life and works, Sir Walter Ralegh and his Readers in the Seventeenth Century. She lives in Oxford with her family.