Paradise Regained / Samson Agonistes / Poems – John Milton (1753)


Paradise Regained / Samson Agonistes / Poems – John Milton (1753)


Title: Paradise Regained / Samson Agonistes / Poems (2 vols, complete)
Author: John Milton, Thomas Newton (ed), unknown engraver
Publisher: London. Printed for J and R Tonson and S. Draper: and for T Longman, S. Birt, C. Hitch, R. Ware, J. Hodges, C. Corbet, J. Brindley and J. Ward, 1753. Extremely rare.
Condition: Hardcover, full leather. Hinges very weak and fragile, wear and tear significant on the exterior. Interior is excellent, almost no wear or soiling. With gorgeous engravings.

This is the two-volume (complete) second edition with notes, edited by Thomas Newton. Paradise Regained had no new editions during Milton’s lifetime, and though some other editions were released between the date of first publication (1671) and Newton’s first edition (1752), they were full of errors and other issues. This is Newton’s second edition, considered canonical, very rare.

About John Milton (from wikipedia):

John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost.

Milton’s poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self-determination, and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day. Writing in English, Latin, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, and his celebrated Areopagitica, (written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship) is among history’s most influential and impassioned defenses of free speech and freedom of the press.

William Hayley’s 1796 biography called him the “greatest English author,” and he remains generally regarded “as one of the preeminent writers in the English language”.

About Paradise Regained (from wikipedia):

Paradise Regained deals with the subject of the Temptation of Christ.

The poem was composed in Milton’s cottage in Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire, and was based on the Gospel of Luke’s version of the Temptation of Christ. Paradise Regained is four books in length, in contrast with Paradise Lost’s twelve.

One of the major concepts emphasized throughout Paradise Regained is the play on reversals. As implied by its title, Milton sets out to reverse the “loss” of Paradise. Thus, antonyms are often found next to each other throughout the poem, reinforcing the idea that everything that was lost in the first epic is going to be regained by the end of the mini-epic.

Additionally, this work focuses on the idea of “hunger”, both in a literal and in a spiritual sense. After wandering in the wilderness for forty days Jesus is starved of both food and the Word of God. Satan, too blind to see any non-literal meanings of the term, offers Christ food and various other temptations, but Jesus continually denies him.