Fun Facts Friday: John Milton

December 9, 2022

John Milton (9 December, 1608 – 8 November, 1674) was an English poet whose epic poem Paradise Lost is considered to be one of the greatest works of literature ever written.

Fun Facts Friday: John Milton
Books by John Milton*

Fun Facts about John Milton:

  1. John Milton was born in Bread Street, London. His father, the senior John Milton was a composer who inspired his son’s creativity and had to move to London after his father, a devout Catholic, disinherited him for becoming a protestant.
  2. We actually have several pieces of writing from 15-year-old John Milton called In Quintum Novembris about London’s Gunpowder Plot.
  3. In 1629, John Milton graduated from Cambridge University. While these were crucial years for the young man, he often got into fights with other students and even tutors. In 1632 he earned his Master of Arts degree.
  4. After graduating John Milton went traveling around Europe. He visited several countries, the majority of my time was spent in France in Italy. He also met influential artists, Galileo was one of those he frequently mentioned as having a big impact, and was even mentioned in Paradise Lost.

    “As when by night the glass of Galileo, less assured, observes imagined lands and regions in the moon”.

  5. Paradise Lost, his most famous work, was first published in 1667. The book contains over 10,000 lines of verse with several religious themes.
  6. A handsome young fellow, Mr. Milton was known as a ladies’ man, and was married three times. Mary Powell became his first wife in 1642, she was considerably younger and the marriage was not well received in their social circle. Sadly, Mary Powell died ten years later.
    Katherine Woodcock, his second wife died six years after their wedding, however, his third marriage to Elizabeth Minshull lasted for the rest of his life.
  7. At the time, pre-publication censorship was an acceptable practice. In his work Areopagitica, John Milton attacked this type of censorship. He also supported the legalization of divorce and polygamy in the theological thesis De Doctrina Christiana.
  8. Following the English Civil War John Milton was appointed as Secretary of Foreign Tongues which included writing official state correspondence in Latin, as well as propaganda. The position did not stop him from criticizing the monarchy. He stayed in his position until Lord General Oliver Cromwell died in 1669 when he was forced to go into hiding due to a warrant posted for his arrest and his writings burned for good measure. He came out of hiding after a general pardon was issued, but he was still imprisoned until several influential friends got involved.
  9. During the time of this service, Mr. Milton lost his eyesight and relied on deputies to transcribe his writings.
  10. During the 18th and 19th Century, John Milton was considered to be superior to all English poets, including William Shakespeare.

Books by John Milton*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Fun Facts Friday: John Milton
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Fun Facts Friday: John Milton
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John Milton (9 December, 1608 – 8 November, 1674) was an English poet whose epic poem Paradise Lost is considered to be one of the greatest works of literature ever written.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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