On this day in 1608, one of the most important poets British poets was born in Cheapside, England. John Milton was born on Bread Street, the son of a composer he would go on to compose some of the most famous poems including the epic masterpiece “Paradise Lost”.
Milton was tutored and attended Cambridge University. He didn’t publish his first poem until 1630, which was published anonymously. The poem was entitled “On Shakespeare” and appeared in the second folio edition of William Shakespeare. A collection of his poetry was published in 1645 and included poetry from his three previous collections, “Comus”, “Lycidias” and ‘Justa Eduardo King Naufrago”. He would not publish more poetry until “Paradise Lost” which was published in 1667.
Milton wrote his epic poem while impoverished and blind. It was written between 1658 and 1664 and revised for the second edition in 1667. In April of 1667 he sold the publishing rights for Five Pounds to Samuel Simmons and according to the agreement would pay Milton an additional Five Pounds on subsequent printing which were generally 1,300 to 1,500 copies each. The first printing sold for Three Shillings and sold-out in the first eighteen months.
In November of 1667 Milton passed away, he was never able to see the influence his poetry would cast for future writers. We at Landmark Books celebrate his life and works, come check out or selection of his poetry today.