Milton's History of Britain: Republican Historiography in the English Revolution

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Censored and incomplete, Milton's History of Britain stands as a broken monument to the controversies of the seventeenth century, as well as to the political and religious ambitions of Milton himself. This book is a comparative study of the History's composition and publication which allows new perspectives on Milton's republican allegiances from the 1640s to the 1670s, and beyond. Now the History can be seen as Milton's response to the crisis of the English Revolution in 1648-49. This examination of the History also permits a wider view of the publication and reception of Milton's work in the Restoration; in particular, the work's censorship makes it a central text in the study of Restoration publishing. This first full-length study makes Milton's History available to scholars as never before. Because early modern histories can only be understood with reference to the texts they recycle, the History has hitherto proved largely impenetrable. This study provides the contextual information with which we can make sense of the composition and publication of the History.