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Milton image

John Milton (1608–1674)
Paradise Lost. Manuscript of Book I, in the hand of an amanuensis, ca. 1665
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1904; MA 307
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This 33-page manuscript is all that remains of the many drafts and fair copies of the evolving text of Milton's biblical epic Paradise Lost. After he lost his sight, Milton relied on several copyists, to transcribe the verses he composed in solitude and to assist him as he revised. This manuscript, which has been marked up lightly by at least five different hands, consists of the text of Book I as it was delivered to Samuel Simmons, the printer of the 1667 first edition. Simmons probably retained these sheets and passed them on to later copyright holders because they bear the imprimatur, or publishing license, issued by the English government.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.