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The Astronomy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost'   By:

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In Thomas Nathaniel Orchard's "The Astronomy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost'," readers are taken on a captivating journey that illuminates the astronomical references found within John Milton's epic poem.

Orchard skillfully analyzes Milton's extensive use of celestial imagery and metaphors, uncovering the profound influence of astronomy on the poet's work. By delving into the scientific knowledge available during Milton's time, Orchard contextualizes the astronomical allusions and reveals their significance in shaping the poem's themes and plot.

One of the most impressive aspects of Orchard's work is his meticulous research. He successfully combines Miltonian scholarship with the history of astronomy, offering readers a comprehensive understanding of the scientific theories prevalent during the 17th century. This multidisciplinary approach not only highlights the astronomical accuracy in Milton's verses but also showcases the parallels between the laws of the universe and the moral dilemmas faced by the characters in "Paradise Lost."

Moreover, Orchard's writing style is both accessible and engaging. He expertly breaks down complex astronomical concepts for readers who may not be well-versed in the subject matter, ensuring that everyone can appreciate the depth of Milton's astronomical references. By relating these references back to the broader narrative and themes of the poem, Orchard bridges the gap between science and literature, making a compelling case for the fusion of disciplines.

Additionally, "The Astronomy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost'" is not limited to a mere examination of celestial imagery. Orchard delves into the symbolism attributed to astronomical phenomena during Milton's era, offering interpretations that shed new light on the poem's philosophical underpinnings. Through this exploration, readers gain a deeper appreciation for the layers of meaning embedded within Milton's masterwork.

However, a potential weakness of the book lies in its slight tendency towards excessive detail. At times, readers may find themselves overwhelmed by the technicalities of the scientific explanations or the extensive historical context. Although the book's thoroughness is commendable, it may be a hindrance for those seeking a more concise analysis.

In conclusion, Thomas Nathaniel Orchard's "The Astronomy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost'" presents a compelling case for the significance of astronomical references in Milton's epic poem. By seamlessly blending literary analysis and scientific inquiry, Orchard illuminates the depth and brilliance of Milton's celestial allusions. Whether one comes from a literary background or a passion for astronomy, this thought-provoking book offers a captivating exploration of the intersection between science and literature in one of the greatest works of English poetry.

First Page:


Greek letters used to identify stars (Bayer designation), are replaced with the full name of the Greek letter, e.g. Alpha Centauri.

The single Greek word in the text is transliterated within braces, {komê}.

Minor punctuation and hyphenation inconsistencies have been corrected.

The spelling "Bernices" for "Berenices" has been retained throughout.

The following minor typographical errors have been corrected: p75: "establish" changed to "established" p99: "Firmanent" changed to "Firmament" p111: "they thoughts" changed to "thy thoughts" p120: "suen" changed to "seuen" p134: "consequenc" changed to "consequence" p146: "geographieal" changed to "geographical" p167: "Lyrae" changed to "Lyræ" for consistency p286: Removed redundant word "degrees" following the degree symbol


[Illustration: A TYPICAL SUN SPOT]





These are thy glorious works, Parent of good, Almighty! thine this universal frame, Thus wondrous fair: Thyself how wondrous then! Unspeakable... Continue reading book >>

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