UCL Events


The early editions of Paradise Lost

06 March 2019, 4:30 pm–7:30 pm

Paradise Lost

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni






Lucy Stagg


IAS Forum
005: Wilkins Main Building
Gower Street
United Kingdom

This is an examination of the early publishing history of Paradise Lost. It describes the extant manuscript (of Book One) and analyses its relationship to the first edition. It gives an account of Milton’s familiarity with the Simmons printshop and of the operation of the contract between himself and Samuel Simmons. It considers the complexities in the distribution of the first edition, marked by the multiple retailers and the phased sale of copies. The second edition is addressed in terms of its relationship to the first, and the paper concludes with a brief account of the first few posthumous editions from Simmons’s third edition, then Jacob’s Tonson’s first illustrated edition and the first publication of scholarly annotations, and finally the cheap editions of the early eighteenth century. All welcome but please register. There will be drinks and discussion after the talk.

About the Speaker

Thomas Corn

Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Bangor University

Thomas Corns, Emeritus Professor of English Literature, Bangor University, His doctoral thesis provided the basis for The Development of Milton's Prose Style, published as the first Oxford English Monograph. He has published mainly on Milton and on the political literature of the mid-seventeenth century. He is an Honored Scholar of the Milton Society of America. Currently he is collaborating with David Loewenstein on a scholarly edition of Paradise Lost, a contribution to the eleven-volume Complete Works of John Milton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008-), of which, with Gordon Campbell, he is general editor.