From: Carrol Cox
Part of this is a popular myth (now and at the time) but it simply isn't
true. Milton _never_ had a "bad name" (except in the fevered
imaginations of the Leavisites on the one hand and, on the other hand,
of those Milton critics who made a career out of claiming that they were
"reviving Milton"). Since the Marines landed in Santo Domingo 37 years
ago I've spent a lot more time on political and historical reading and
activity than on literature, with the exception of Milton criticism,
1940-1987. And there was never a time when the "reputation" of Milton
was in the slightest doubt. The "Milton Controversy" was a tempest in a
teapot, kept boiling for careerist reasons by professors who ought to
have worked out more respecable ways of padding their _vitae_.
As I recall, though I've never looked into it,
Eliot discouraged modern poets from reading Milton,
but wasn't it precisely because uncle Milty was too
good, but of the wrong type?