Paradise lost : Book I : manuscript, ca. 1665.

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Record ID: 
132673
Accession number: 
MA 307
Author: 
Milton, John, 1608-1674.
Credit: 
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1904.
Description: 
1 item (33 p.) ; 19.5-19.9 cm
Notes: 

As sent to the printer, Samuel Simmons, having in the margins the printer's marks for the division into sheets.
Some corrections in the hand of Milton's nephew Edward Phillips.
Bearing the imprimatur of the chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, reading: "Imprimatur / Tho. Tomkyns {Rmo in / Christo Patri ac Domino / Dno Gilberto divina Providentia / Archi-Episcopo Cantuariensi a / Sacris domesticis. / Richard Royston / Int.-- / p. Geo: Tokefeilde Cl :"
High reserve.

Summary: 

The only surviving manuscript of Paradise Lost is this 33-page fair copy, written in secretary script by a professional scribe, who probably transcribed patchwork pages of text Milton had dictated to several different amanuenses. This fair copy was corrected by at least five different hands under Milton's personal direction and became the printer's copy, used to set the type for the first edition of the book.

Housed in: 
Blue cloth drop-spine box (22.2 cm)
Provenance: 
Sold by the author to the printer Samuel Simmons for £5 on 27 April 1667; sold by Simmons to the London bookseller Brabazon Aylmer for £25; sold by Aylmer to another bookseller, Jacob Tonson (1655-1736); by descent to his nephew, also Jacob Tonson (1682-1735); by descent to his son, also Jacob Tonson (1714-1767); by descent to his brother Richard Tonson; by descent William Baker and in the Baker family until Henry Clinton Baker of Bayfordsbury consigned the manuscript to Sotheby's, London, 25 January 1904 [the manuscript did not make the reserve and was not sold here]; purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1904.