John Milton was one of the world's greatest poets, the renowned author of "Paradise Lost." But he was also deeply involved in political and religious controversies of his time, and authored a series of radical pamphlets on free speech, divorce, and civil rights that proposed a rethinking of the nature and practice of government.
In countless biographies, Milton has been crudely sketched either as a blind, saintly artist or as a domestic tyrant. Yet as Anna Beer shows, he was neither ogre nor paragon. By closely examining all aspects of Milton's life and its social historical context, Beer succeeds in bringing an enigmatic pillar of English literature to life, four centuries after his birth.