Paradise Lost. A Poem in Twelve Books. / the authour JohnMilton. The fourth edition, adorn'd with sculptures.
London: Printed by Miles Flesher, for Richard Bently,at the Post-Office in Russell-Street, and Jacob Tonson at theJudge's Head in Chancery-lane near Fleet-street, 1688.
Gift of George Blumenthal, 1941
By 1688, when England was on the verge of the Whig revolution, Milton's reputation had revived considerably. He was commended for his republicanism as well as his record as a defender of liberty. His supporters believed that his greatest poetic achievement merited this handsome, monumental edition. One of the earliest examples of subscription publishing, financed by Lord Somers, the fourth edition of Paradise Lost was the first to be printed in folio format and is the first illustrated edition, distinguished by high quality paper, large, clear type, and ample margins. Milton had previously reorganized the poem into twelve books (by splitting Books 7 and 10 of the original) to parallel Virgil's Aeneid more closely. Full-page illustrations by John Baptiste de Medina, Bernard Lens, and Henry Aldrich precede each of the twelve books in this edition.