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Representing Revolution in Milton and his Contemporaries


  • 1 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 428 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.639 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521032988)

David Loewenstein's Representing Revolution in Milton and his Contemporaries is a wide-ranging exploration of the interactions of literature, polemics and religious politics in the English Revolution. Loewenstein highlights the powerful spiritual beliefs and religious ideologies in the polemical struggles of Milton, Marvell and their radical Puritan contemporaries during these revolutionary decades. By examining a wide range of canonical and non-canonical writers - John Lilburne, Winstanley the Digger and Milton, amongst others - he reveals how radical Puritans struggled with the contradictions and ambiguities of the English Revolution and its political regimes. His portrait of a faction-riven, violent seventeenth-century revolutionary culture is an original and significant contribution to our understanding of these turbulent decades and their aftermath. By placing Milton's great poems in the context of the period's radical religious politics, it should be of interest to historians as well as literary scholars.

• Covers a wide range of well-known and lesser-known writers • This is an interesting study of the intersection of politics, religion and literature • May be of additional interest to historians


Acknowledgements; Note on abbreviations and citations; Introduction; Part I. Radical Puritanism and Polemical Responses: 1. Lilburne, Leveller polemic and the ambiguities of the Revolution; 2. Gerrard Winstanley and the crisis of the Revolution; 3. Ranter and Fifth Monarchist prophecies: the revolutionary visions of Abiezer Coppe and Anna Trapnel; 4. The War of the Lamb: the revolutionary discourse of George Fox and early Quakerism; 5. Marvell, the saints and the Protectorate; Part II. Milton: Radical Puritan Politics, Polemics and Poetry: 6. Milton, Antichristian revolts and the English Revolution; 7. Radical Puritan politics and Satan's revolution in Paradise Lost; 8. The kingdom within: radical religion and politics in Paradise Regained; 9. The saint's revenge: radical religion and politics in Samson Agonistes; Afterword - two-handed engine: politics and spiritual warfare in the 1671 poems; Notes; Index.


'… substantial and authoritative … Loewenstein is a steady and lucid guide through the morass of revolutionary writings … His work on Milton is … original and exciting. There is a subtle and brilliant reading of Paradise Lost.' The Times Literary Supplement

'This book immediately assumes a place at the top of the requisite bibliography for students of seventeenth-century England, historians and literary scholars alike … deeply historically informed and informative, and Loewenstein skilfully weaves together text and event. The book is a scholarly masterwork and is sure to become prominent in the canon of Milton criticism.' Prose Studies

'Loewenstein has given us a marvellously detailed, critically acute, intellectually sympathetic account of the literary production of radical Puritanism in general, and a compelling reorientation of our reading of Milton in particular.' Modern Language Review

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