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John Milton

American Milton?

“By gradual steps (which have not yet been traced),” wrote Perry Miller in 1956, “Paradise Lost became, around the middle of the eighteenth century, not so much a secondary Book of Genesis as a substitute for the original.”1 This bold claim from Errand into the Wilderness has always intrigued me. It contains implications for reception history, history of the book, American intellectual history, and above all, Puritan theology, if devotees of the principle sola scriptura, by the eighteenth century, practiced sola scriptura… and Milton! Here is my preliminary attempt to uncover and examine a little of this chapter in American Read more