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Milton's History of BritainRepublican Historiography in the English Revolution$
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Nicholas von Maltzahn

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198128977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128977.001.0001

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Milton's ‘Intereign’: The Date of the History

Milton's ‘Intereign’: The Date of the History

(p.22) 2 Milton's ‘Intereign’: The Date of the History
Milton's History of Britain

Nicholas von Maltzahn

Oxford University Press

Introducing Book III of the History of Britain, John Milton sees himself as writing with a special purpose in ‘this intereign’. Milton wrote the History as advice literature to the nation in the ensuing interregnum. The History should be recognized as part of Milton's achievement in 1649, the annus mirabilis in which he writes the Tenure, the first four books of the History, the Observations, and Eikonoklastes, and in which he further assists the new government in preparing Latin letters of state. It is unfortunate that questions about the date of the History have much blunted its message. The freedom at the beginning of the interregnum was soon to be eroded by the lack of true progress in the revolution. The Digression's context in the History itself indicates the frustration of Milton's hopes for his country in the late 1640s. The doubts voiced in the History lie behind much of Milton's later political thought.

Keywords:   John Milton, History of Britain, intereign, date, interregnum, Digression

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