The sixteen essays that comprise this collection represent how challenging, stimulating, and far-ranging are the efforts to read Milton critically and deeply. The essays' subjects and approaches are purposefully diverse, suggesting the variety of topics that engage contemporary readers of Milton's poetry and prose, but there are, nonetheless, relationships between and among them.In thematic terms, the first six essays deal with the issue of evil, the next two deal with the world of Milton's masque and the many worlds of his epic "Paradise Lost", four examine influence - Milton's use of his sources or his impact on later writers, and the final four focus on Milton's later works, one on Milton's "brief epic" "Paradise Regained" and three on Samson Agonistes, all suggesting the ambiguity of Milton's treatment of trial and temptation. Related and yet eclectic in subject matter, approaches, and emphases, the essays demonstrate the rewards of "reading Milton deeply."Charles W. Durham, past president of the Milton Society of America, is Professor Emeritus of English at Middle Tennessee State University. Kristin A. Pruitt is Professor Emerita of English at Christian Brothers University.
Together with Dr. Durham, she co-directs the biennial Conference on John Milton.