John Milton (1608-1674)
London: S. Simmons, 1667
John Milton’s greatest poem, Paradise lost, retold the story of the fall of Adam and Eve from the biblical book of Genesis. In this first edition, published in the autumn of 1667 and sold over the next two years with seven variant title pages, the poem was cast in ten books. Only in the second, ‘Revised and Augmented’ edition of 1674 did the poem appear in the twelve-book form familiar today (largely achieved splitting the seventh and tenth books of the original), possibly so that it paralleled more closely the Aeneid of Virgil. In this opening from Book X of the first edition, the archangel Michael unfolds to Adam the future kingdoms of the world.