Paradise Lost by John Milton. Published by MobileReference (mobi)

 
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This is an electronic edition of the complete book complemented by author biography. This book features the table of contents linked to every chapter. The book was designed for optimal navigation on the Kindle, PDA, Smartphone, and other electronic readers. It is formatted to display on all electronic devices including the Kindle, Smartphones and other Mobile Devices with a small display.

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Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books; a second edition followed in 1674, redivided into twelve books (in the manner of the division of Virgil's Aeneid) with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification. The poem concerns the Judeo-Christian story of the Fall of Man; the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to "justify the ways of God to men" and elucidate the conflict between God's eternal foresight and free will.

- Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Customer Reviews:

  • Rise and Fall
    First off, let me say that we're not talking here about the famous Qi gong instructor named John Milton. We're talking about the famous 17th-century English poet who wrote _Paradise Lost_ and _Paradise Regained_, two of the most wonderfully overlong Christian poems in the history of Western literature.

    Your English teacher will tell you that _Paradise Lost_ "narrates the story of Adam and Eve's disobedience, explains how and why it happened, and places the story within the larger context of Satan's rebellion and Jesus' resurrection." And you know that can't be far wrong, because SparkNotes says the exact same thing.

    But the main reason everyone should read Milton's grand epic is that it contains certain secrets about prayer.

    In PL, Milton reminds us how important it is, when we pray, to be absolutely specific. The Lord has a strange, often disturbing, sense of humour (PL, books I-XII). If you leave Him wiggle room, He will answer your prayer in a way you never intended, and then say it was your own damned fault, because your prayer contained seven types of ambiguity.

    John Milton writes from experience. Example: Almost every time a good-looking woman passed within view of John Milton, he suffered an involuntary erection. Daniel of the Old Testament might well have suffered such a condition without complaining, but John Milton found it onerous. John was both a Puritan and a student of Saint Augustine. He was not happy when he suffered an erection, he hated it, and he especially resented the women who made that thing happen to him.

    In a Latin letter to his friend, George Wither, John Milton reports that, in his youth, he would sometimes see a pretty woman even in his dreams at night, and suffer, not just an erection, but the whole nine yards, up to and including a nocturnal emission; which he trained himself to handle according to Scripture, thereby to purify himself (Deut. 23:10); but sometimes he was unable to wait that long before he handled it, which filled his soul full of Puritan remorse and self-reproach.

    At age 33, the poet took to wife a 16-year-old lolita named Mary Powell; and you may already have guessed the reason why, which is that she gave him an erection -- more accurately, she gave him "one damned erection after another," without remission. (Giving John Milton an erection was not the girl's conscious intent, but it just happened to him, every time they met.) And since Christian marriage is Saint Paul's only approved method whereby to deal with that kind of torment, John Milton (being an honourable man) thought it best to marry the girl (1 Cor. 7:9).

    Frailty, thy name is woman! After two years of marriage - after just two years of witnessing those insufferable erections that could not be beaten down, or at least, not for long - the poet's young Puritan bride ran away and skipped back home to live with her mother, Mrs. Anne Powell, who likewise gave John an erection; which is why John Milton resented his mother-in-law as well as his estranged wife.

    Those were the hardest years of the poet's life - nothing but a daily struggle against involuntary erections, yet here he was, trapped in a loveless marriage to a barely pubescent teenager who lived with her entirely-too-attractive mother. Which is partly why John Milton wrote those four revolutionary Christian pamphlets, correcting Moses' and Jesus' hardline policy on divorce (Mark 10:11-12).

    In his Latin correspondence, some of which is preserved in the Bodleian Library, John Milton reports that he was fine when alone in his study, or when hobnobbing with Parliamentarians, or even when having a hasty pudding, or a figgy one, over at the Inns of Court; but let just one good-looker cross his path, showing good ankle between the hem of her dress and the top of her shoe, and it was boing! - instant erection, just like a spring-loaded mechanical device; causing John to exclaim bitterly, "Oh, God, please, not again! Save me from this penal fire!"

    It even happened to him once when Oliver Cromwell's wife, Elizabeth Bourchier Cromwell, bent over to pick up a handkerchief that had fallen to the floor. On that occasion there was a lamentable accident ("an hard mishap" [verbatim quote]) with John's ordinarily modest codpiece - an incident so humiliating that John never even wrote a poem about it, although he did apologise, profusely, to Oliver Cromwell, and to Mrs. Cromwell, who saw the whole thing, and then fainted. (John at the time was employed as Cromwell's Latin secretary.)

    By the way: It was modesty, not arrogance, that moved John Milton, after that embarrassing incident, to wear a baggy codpiece, with plenty of wiggle room.

    Which brings me back to the beginning, when I was explaining why you should give the Lord no wiggle room when you pray: John Milton took his problem to the Lord in prayer, stating in his journal, "Father, I pray Thee, let me not suffer a stiffe joynt when I see a beautifull woman."

    And here's how the Lord answered that prayer, in 1651: He struck John Milton blind.

    At first, John thought that his blindness was a punishment for his own bad behaviour - which is how that whole thing got going, in Anglo-American Christianity, about how, if you are a boy who does what John Milton used to do, it could make you go blind. But God revealed to John, by means of a dream, that his blindness was actually an answer to his own prayers ?- because the poet had said, "Father, let me not suffer a stiff joint when I see a beautiful woman."

    John Milton then said, "Lord, that is not what I meant, at all" - but it was too late to change the outcome, because the prayer was already answered.

    The erections that John Milton suffered in the years 1651-1674, and there were many, even after the Lord answered his prayer, were not from seeing a beautiful woman, it was actually because John had a condition that modern physicians call PSAS ("Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome"). So the chronic "stiffe joynt" problem was not really the women's fault, and it never was; but John Milton never knew that. Even when he wrote Paradise Lost (by dictation, from 1652-1667), John was still under the impression that women, seen or unseen, were to blame for his condition; which is why he makes all of those snide remarks in blank verse about your mother, Eve, in Books IV-V and IX-X of Paradise Lost. Because whenever he pictured Eve in his mind's eye, it was boing! - the same old problem. And there would come no more blank verse to his head for the next twenty minutes or so, until things settled down. John Milton hated that.

    But it all turned out for the best: if God had not answered John Milton's prayer in that unusual way, by blinding him, Paradise Lost might never have been completed, and sold to the publisher, Sam Simmons, in 1667, for 5 - which was a tidy sum for a religious poem during the decadent Restoration era.

    It was while writing the early books of Paradise Lost that John was introduced to Katherine, a ship captain's daughter, a fat woman whom he had never seen (because he was blind); whom he nonetheless married in 1656, but not for the same old reason as before: John asked fat Kate to marry him (a.) because he needed secretarial assistance with Paradise Lost, and (b.) because Katherine did not have the same pernicious effect on him as Mary Powell and her mother Anne had done. John could dictate blank verse to Kate all night long without feeling so much as a tingle down there.

    Kate's surname was Woodcock. Beelzebub made a little joke about that: he said, "The Lord finally gave John Milton just what he always wanted."

    - L.
    ...more info
  • Great Buy
    Paradise Lost has so far turned out to be just as enticing as I had hoped. I read a small part of this back in high school and finally decided to pick it up and read the whole thing. The book was shipped right away and was in great condition when it came....more info
  • a pleasure to read
    Paradise Lost by John Milton. Published by MobileReference (mobi)

    This is an outstanding edition of Milton's classic work. Paradise Lost is Milton's paean to a vast pattern in the universe, the disruption of that pattern by rebels, and the weaving of those rebellion threads back into an ever more beautiful tapestry.
    ...more info
  • More verse and rhyme than you can shake a stick at
    Even if you can't appreciate Classical epics and copious amounts of poetic language, this book is still written good enough for one to appreciate. Milton not only instills new life into this ancient story, but makes it just as compelling and intriguing as any modern story. The epic scope the story encompasses, including both the domains of Heaven and Hell, is enough to humble any reader. Also the unique look at the Powers' characters, especially the in depth look at the character of Satan himself, impresses the reader with a sense of something great. All in all, an excellent read if you have the patience to get through a few of the slower parts....more info
  • This put Milton among the likes of Dante, Homer and Virgil
    This is John Milton's masterpiece, though not the great epic he had intented to create. He actually wanted to write one about his beloved England, something along the lines of Arthurian legend. But what came out in 1667 was the story "Of Man's first disobedience," an expansion on Genesis 2 and 3. After creating a vast, vivid cosmos and setting up the battle between the two prevailing forces of God and Satan in the reader's mind, Milton puts Adam and Eve at the very center of it all. But its up to them (like all of us) which side they want to be on. This epic is a true classic among the classics....more info
  • A cosmic battle
    I used the Norton critical edition edited by Scott Elledge

    We will discover in these pages a profound rendering of the cosmic battle between good and evil, man's fall through disobedience to God, and Satan's perversion on mankind.

    Each line serves a purpose, so in order to inhale this sublime poem to its fullest it will be necessary to slow down. Immensely valuable to understanding this difficult poem is the editor's explanatory summery going into each of the twelve books (chapters) and the numerous footnotes.

    The second half of the book contains a biography, an historical evolution, other writings, and a critical analysis of Milton by multiple revered authors with a wide degree of beliefs.

    Wish you well
    Scott...more info
  • Bad Book
    Man, I had to read this book. It was so boring and hard to read. Skip it or read the cliff notes if at all possible....more info
  • In Breathless Wonder
    How a blind man could produce such a stunning work is beyond me. Paradise Lost chronicles the fall of Adam and Eve from Eden and the fall of Lucifer from Heaven. It is told in flashback and in current time, by angels and by the narrator. Milton is a breathtaking poet, even on par with the great one Shakespeare and at times surpassing him. The images of heaven and eden and of the war in heaven are astonishing. Then there is what lies beneath: The nature of free will, pride, blind love, and many other things are explored. Don't let the difficulty of the prose or the long length stop you, this is one of the greatest works of art in literature....more info

 

 
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