Born in 1608, John
Milton is among the best known British poets of his time. Paradise
Lost, his epic poem, was published in 1664, by which time he was
Miltonís early life was comfortable, and his fatherís social standing
and wealth allowed for private tutors and education at Cambridge
University. Milton initially intended to become a priest, but was drawn
After he completed his education in 1632, Milton went to one of his
familyís country homes, where he continued with his private studies.
Here he wrote a number of poems, including Lycidas. This poem was an
elegy for Edward King, one of his friends from Cambridge.
Milton eventually settled in London, where he worked as a private tutor
for the children of well-off friends and family members. At the time of
the English Civil War, Milton began writing polemics in favour of the
After the Civil War, Milton maintained his writing in praise of Cromwell
and the Commonwealth, and was appointed Secretary for Foreign Tongues.
His political writing continued, as did his poetic writing.
By 1654, Milton was completely blind, most likely due to glaucoma. His
writing was composed by dictation, and in this manner he wrote Paradise
Lost. This poem was followed by Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes.
Milton died in 1674. At the time of his death he was one of the most
important British poets, and his work continues to be the focus of much
study and appreciation.