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NARRATED IN CONNECTION WITH
THE POLITICAL, ECCLESIASTICAL, AND LITERARY
HISTORY OF HIS TIME.
DAVID MASSON, M. A.,
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE,
PORTRAITS, AND SPECIMENS OF HIS HANDWRITING AT DIFFERENT PERIODS.
Ir is intended that the title of this Work should indicate its character. Such an alternative title as "The Life and Times of Milton" might suggest more familiarly, perhaps, the precedents which the Author has had in view. While his first object has been to narrate the Life of Milton fully, deliberately and minutely, with as much of additional fact and illustration as might be supposed to result, even at this distance of time, from new research and from a further examination of the old materials, he has not deemed it unfit, in the instance of such a Life, to allow the forms of Biography to overflow into those of History. In other words, it is intended to exhibit Milton's Life in its connections with all the more notable phenomena of the period of British history in which it was cast-its state-politics, its ecclesiastical variations, its literature and speculative thought. Commencing in 1608, the Life of Milton proceeds through the last sixteen years of the reign of James I., includes the whole of the reign of Charles I. and the subsequent years of the Commonwealth and the Protectorate, and then, passing the Restoration, extends itself to 1674, or through fourteen years of the new state of things under Charles II. No portion of our national history has received more abundant or more admirable elucidation than these sixty-six years; but, perhaps, in traversing it again in that mood and with that special bent of inquiry which may be natural where the Biography of Milton