This thoughtful collection of John Milton's finest poetry marks the quarter centenary of the poet's birth in 1608. It is read by several of Britain's foremost classical actors, including Anton Lesser, Samantha Bond, and Derek Jacobi.
Milton's uncompromising views set him firmly on the side of Cromwell, putting his life in danger when the Stuart monarchy was restored. But he is now remembered for Paradise Lost and a strong collection of other poetry which influenced successive generations. This collection offers an ideal overview, including the complete Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, excerpts from other major works, including Comus and Samson Agonistes, as well as sonnets and famous shorter poems such as "On his blindness", plus a biography of Milton.
The incomparable Derek Jacobi is completely in his element when reading Milton. His performance of the sonnet "On Shakespeare" seems particularly well suited to his voice, which is so closely associated with the Bard. Samantha Bond is equally comfortable with Milton's verse, and the two work well together in the selections that call for two voices. While PARADISE LOST is, no doubt, Milton's most well-known masterpiece, this recording includes only brief selections from it, totaling less than seven minutes. This is a wise editorial choice as it leaves room for some shorter and more accessible poems that showcase the work of these outstanding narrators.
"A tribute that should stand as a model for how to do a great writer honour....read by Anton Lesser, who excels as the doomed but magnificently heroic Lucifer." (The Times, London)
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