Regarded by many as the equal of Shakespeare in poetic imagination and expression, Milton was also a prolific writer of prose who explored, with great acuity and originality, his frequently dissenting and controversial views on religion, politics, and liberty. This new and extensively annotated edition of his major prose works presents them in their original language, spelling, and punctuation, and demonstrates Milton’s continued relevance. It shows why Milton’s rich, varied prose works are justly reckoned among his greatest achievements, analyzing such major topics as freedom of the press, religious toleration and liberty of conscience, gender, marriage, the dangers of tyranny, and the significance of political debate and dissent.
The exhaustive notes compiled for this edition illuminate the complexities of the shifting contemporary political and religious contexts in which Milton wrote and published his major prose works, even as they elucidate the wealth of Milton’s biblical, classical, and topical allusions. Most crucially for contemporary readers, his prose writings address the meanings and consequences of different kinds of liberty: religious, political, domestic, and individual.