This authoritative edition of Milton's great epic, Paradise Lost, presents the poem in the original language (spelling and punctuation) of its 1674 publication. It thereby recovers pronunciations, sonorities, and rhythms often lost in modernized editions. Barbara K. Lewalski offers readers the opportunity to experience the brilliance and beauty of Paradise Lost as that poem was experienced by Milton's contemporaries.
Beginning with a brief historical and critical introduction, Lewalski also provides judicious explanatory annotations that clarify names and places, identify biblical and literary allusions, and gloss unfamiliar words. She includes as well a textual apparatus of variant readings, a select bibliography, and several illustrations from the 1688 Folio edition.
Lewalski's Paradise Lost is the first of three paperback volumes presenting authoritative texts of the complete poetry and major prose of John Milton in original language, thereby making these texts readily available to students and scholars.