Book Chapter

Pamphlet Wars


Keeble N (2010) Pamphlet Wars. In: Dobranski S (ed.) Milton in Context. New York: Cambridge University Press.

First paragraph: The Milton who, heir of Moses, Homer and Virgil (CPW, 1: 812), invoked a time of oral culture and manuscript circulation, aspired to timelessness: ‘with his garland and singing robes about him’, he sought ‘an immortality of fame’ by leaving ‘something so written to aftertimes, as they should not willingly let it die’ (CPW, 1: 327, 808, 810). This same Milton was, however, also the most topically immediate of authors, addressing himself not to posterity but to his contemporaries. By utilising press technology to take up current issues of public concern through the prompt publication of pamphlets and controversial tracts, this most traditional of authors was yet among the most innovative of early modern writers, becoming the first master of print culture in English literary history.

Milton, John; Prose tracts; Literary censorship; Puritanism; Milton, John, 1608-1674 Political and social views; Republicanism Great Britain History 17th century; English literature Early modern, 1500-1700 History and criticism

Publication date31/01/2010
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publisher URL…bn=9780521518987
Place of publicationNew York