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").
The following is from the Everyman edition of Milton's _Complete English
Poems_ of Milton, edited by Gordon Campbell (1993):
"... old prejudices and old Leavisites linger on, and Milton has never fully
recovered in Britain, despite some distinguished work by British Miltonists
in recent years. In America, however, the Milton industry continues to
produce critical work on Milton on a daunting scale" (625).
Milton's reputation DID suffer, although it is easy to see why Puritan
America should have been less affected (I am using 'Puritan' in the
As for the Romantics, I am more than prepared to believe Bloom when he says
that New Criticism had been detrimental to their reputation in America as
well as Britain. I was first introduced to English poetry by a professor who
had studied at Yale in the early 1960s. He gave us brilliant close readings
of Shakespeare's Sonnets, Donne, Marvell, Eliot and Pound. He also skipped
Milton and the Romantics altogether, and asked us to read a few poems on our
own, with relevant chapters from Burgess's History of English Literature...
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