Paradise Lost. A Poem in Ten Books.
The Author John Milton.
London: Printed by S. Simmons, and to be sold by S. Thomson at the Bishops-Head in Duck-lane, H. Mortlack at the White Hart in Westminster Hall, M. Walker under St. Dunstans Church in Fleet-street, and R. Boulter at the Turks-Head in Bishopsgate street.
Gift of Caroline Newton, 1970
When Charles II was restored to the English throne in 1660, he issued a proclamation calling for two of Milton's books to be publicly burned by the hangman. This is a magnificent association copy, bound in full contemporary red morocco and stamped in gilt with the cipher of Charles II, consisting of crowned Cs and palm leaves in five of the six spine panels. The endpapers also bear a watermark with the arms of Charles II. The royal binding is attributed to Samuel Mearne. The gilt stamped spine reads Paradice Lost, the title as it was entered in the Stationers' Register on 20 August 1667. This copy has the 1667 title page bound, as printed, at the end.
To celebrate the four-hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Milton (1608–1674), The Morgan Library & Museum is pleased to present the only surviving manuscript of Paradise Lost, Book 1. This epic poem is considered Milton's greatest artistic achievement and one of the finest works of the human imagination. Acquired by Pierpont Morgan in 1904, it is the most important British literary manuscript in the collection. The 33-page manuscript has been temporarily disbound, providing an opportunity to see more of its pages than ever before. Also in this presentation are first editions of Paradise Lost printed in England and the United States during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and a rarely seen miniature portrait of the poet.
This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Rudy L. Ruggles, Jr.
Photography by Graham Haber.