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Program in British Studies

John Rumrich, 'John Milton and the Embodied Word'

Fri, October 2, 2009 | Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

3:00 PM

Milton in Areopagitica defines 'a good Booke' as  'the precious life-blood of a master spirit imbalm'd and treasur'd up on purpose to a life beyond life.'  Oddly, the definition though often quoted and even engraved on library walls, has never been explained.  How are we to understand the equation between 'a good book' and 'lifeblood', specifically the 'lifeblood of a master spirit'?

John Rumrich is A. J. and W. D. Thaman Professor of English.  He is the co-editor of the Norton critical edition of Seventeenth Century British Poetry (2006) and the Modern Library edition of The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton (2007).  He teaches early modern poetry and drama in the English Department.

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