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Milton in the Long Restoration$
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Blair Hoxby and Ann Baynes Coiro

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769774

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769774.001.0001

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Why Milton in the Long Restoration

(p.1) Introduction
Milton in the Long Restoration

Blair Hoxby

Oxford University Press

A venerable tradition of literary criticism treats Milton as if he was not of his own age. It treats him either as the last of the Renaissance poets or as a poet who remained misunderstood until he was read by his Romantic heirs. This book sets Milton securely in the context of his contemporaries and immediate heirs. In defining a ‘Long Restoration’, it reinvests that word with its original polysemy. The Long Restoration meant different things to different Englishmen, from the return of the monarchy, to the renovation of the church, to the justification of sinners. Milton engaged with all these senses of the word and was in turn appropriated in the name of all these causes. The Long Restoration also tests the shortcomings of the long eighteenth century as a periodization.

Keywords:   Long Restoration, long eighteenth century, Renaissance, periodization, John Milton, Restoration

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