Little Known Facts About John Milton



Here’s my typical list of facts about John Milton. Oh, come on, like you didn’t know it was coming?

– Milton was quite the ladies man. In fact, he was married quite a bit. In 1642 he married Mary Powell, who died in 1652. In 1656 he married Katherine Woodcock, who died in 1658. In 1663 he married Elizabeth Minshull who outlived him. There are indications that living with Milton was not easy. His first wife, who was much younger than him, lived most of their married life seperated from her husband.
-Milton’s college nickname was “the Lady of Christ’s” and seems to refer to his pale complexion, beauty, and his delicate manners. John Milton could take the joke and was often noted for his wonderful sense of humor.
-Milton’s Areopagitica, published in 1644, was a direct attack on censorship. At the time censorship was being exercised by the Court of Star Chamber until it was abolished in 1641. After a flood of pamphlets were disbursed, parliment reimposed the censorship in 1643.
-Milton spent quite a bit of time traveling abroad. In doing so, it is widely believed that he met Galileo. In fact, Galileo is referenced in Paradise Lost.
-Milton’s poem Lycidas was written as an elegy for a fellow poet and contemporary named Edward King. King drowned at sea in 1637.
-Milton’s masque “Comus” celebrates the 1st Earl of Bridgewater’s entry into his duties as Lord President of the Council of Wales. It was performed in 1634 at the Lord President’s official residence, Ludlow Castle. Ludlow was partly dismantled by Parliment after the Civil War and the ruins are still open to the public today.
-Traditionally it is thought that Milton was born in Cockney in 1608. Being a true Londoner, born on Bread Steet close to St. Mary-le-Bow Church.
-In 1652 John Milton went completely blind. This was a slow occurance but by the time he got to writing Paradise Lost his sight was completely gone. The entire epic was dictated to his daughter who transcribed it for him.
-You can visit “Milton’s Cottage” in Chalfont St. Giles in Buckinghamshire where John Milton lived from 1665 to 1666. He left his beloved London to escape the plague.
-Milton died on November 8, 1674 from kidney failure. He was buried next to his father in St Giles’ Church. A disputed account suggested that Milton’s grave was desecrated in 1790 when repairs were carried out to the church. William Cowper was horrified by this story and subsequently wrote: Stanzas on the Late Indecent Liberties Taken with the Remains of Milton


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