JOHN MILTON: A Hero for Our Time

JOHN MILTON: A Hero for Our Time

DAVID HAWKES    Book Number: 83162    Product format: Paperback

John Milton wrote one of the greatest poems in English, Paradise Lost, but he was also a keen political activist who produced numerous pamphlets in defence of Oliver Cromwell's revolutionary government and was even commissioned to write the official statement about the beheading of King Charles I. There are many biographies of Milton, but this one aims to show him in his contemporary aspect, as a man who anticipated the postmodernism of the 21st century. He supported the freedom of the press, divorce on the grounds of psychological incompatibility, and the separation of church and state. The son of a moneylender, he believed that the charging of interest on loans enslaved those who engaged in it, and argued that money had itself become a commodity instead of being a measure of the value of other commodities. Educated at Cambridge, Milton decided to live his life as an iconoclast, a breaker of images. He thought people had become unable to distinguish between an image and the thing it represented, so that they believed an earthly king to be divine. He saw King Charles I himself as a great idolater, encouraging the introduction of images in churches, though he was also troubled by the idolatry lavished on Cromwell when he superseded Charles. The debate came to a head in the mid-17th century when Milton engaged in a pamphlet war with the Royalist Salmasius, knowing that the close work would destroy what remained of his eyesight. A good read. 354pp, paperback.
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ISBN 9781582437132
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