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"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library."

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English Subject Guide

Milton (EN 425/524)

This page presents some specialized library resources for exploring topics on John Milton (1608-1674) and his age. The resources include both print and electronic and are arranged into the six categories provided below. For resources on literature in general, see the left sidebar of this page.

The Milton Society of America sponsors Milton-L This is a link to another web site, an online forum for keeping abreast on Milton topics. Did you know that two Hollywood films based on "Paradise Lost" are in the making?

A note on finding books: To find book-length studies of Milton in Grasselli Library, search Carrolline using the subject heading Milton, John This is a link to another web site. For writings by Milton in Carrolline, use Milton, John This is a link to another web site in an author search. For additional books in Ohio college and university libraries, follow-up your search of Carrolline using OhioLINK Library Catalog This is a link to another web site. If you wish to find books about English literature during the early modern period (1500-1700), check this list for some suggested subject headings.

You may also find Open Library This is a link to another web site helpful. This emerging book-digitizing project allows anyone to contribute to its growing database. Many interesting items are to be found here.


Articles & Books | Concordances | Dictionaries & Encyclopedias | Handbooks | Journals | Literary Biography


Articles & Books

British Periodicals: Collection I (1681 - 1920)
Contains more than 160 journals that comprise the UMI microfilm collection Early British Periodicals, the equivalent of 5,238 printed volumes containing approximately 3.1 million pages. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences.

Early English Books Online (EEBO) (1473 - 1700)
Contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700. Now contains about 100,000 of over 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640) and Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700) and their revised editions, as well as the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) collection and the Early English Books Tract Supplement.

Historical Abstracts
Indexes and abstracts scholarly literature on the history of the world, except the United States and Canada, from 1450 to the present.

Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance
A bibliography of journal articles and reviews pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400 to 1700).

MLA International Bibliography (1926 - Current)
Compiled by the Modern Language Association, this is an essential bibliography for literary criticism on all nationalities, periods, types of literature, and authors, with the exception of classical Greek and Latin literature, which is covered in L'Annee philologique. MLAIB is also strong in scholarship on folklore, linguistics, and the teaching of rhetoric, composition, and literature. It covers articles, books, and dissertations in literature and the additional fields mentioned above.

Web of Science (1980 - Current)
Web of Science is a collection of citation indexes, which includes Arts and Humanities Citation Index. A special feature of a "citation index" is the ability to search for a specific book or article mentioned within the bibliographies of other articles. By tracing who cites whom, the impact of one scholar's ideas on another's can be better understood. Citation indexes are also helpful in finding scholarly reviews of scholarly books. To look for reviews, search the book as the source being cited.


Concordances are alphabetical lists of words and phrases that provide their context in a particular work or body of works.

Bible in English
Texts of 21 versions of the Bible from the 10th century through the 20th century, which includes the King James Bible (1611) in its original spelling. While this resource is not precisely a concordance, key words may be searched electronically for their context.
Bible Editions

Concordance to Milton's English Poetry
An alphabetical list of words and phrases used by Milton, indicating where they occur in his poetry.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Reference resources, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias, provide working knowledge and definitions of topics pertaining to literature. Below are some relevant to the study of Milton.

Encyclopedia of Rhetoric (Oxford)
Comprehensive survey of the art of persuasion by leading scholars.
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LEME: Lexicons of Early Modern English (Public Version)
Produced by the University of Toronto, this is the public version of LEME, which allows for simple searches of words. LEME is a database of historical, multilingual lexical materials that helped form Modern English.

Milton Encyclopedia edited by Thomas N. Corns
A single volume encyclopedia written for new and advanced readers of Milton.

Milton Encyclopedia edited by William B. Hunter et al.
Topics relevant to the study of Milton and his times.

Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance
Details on major aspects of thought during the Renaissance in 14th to 17th century Europe and the ways this revival continues to influence modern times.
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Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. Ed. Hans J. Hillerbrand. Oxford University Press, 1996.
Religious and social changes in Europe in the sixteenth century that resulted from the Reformation.
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Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
Electronic text of the standard historical dictionary of the English language, including the Additions Series and frequent updates.


Handbooks present some of the ways that Milton and his background are commonly discussed by scholars. They do this in conversational essays, which are intended to inspire thought.

Blackwell Companion to the Bible in English Literature
Essays examining "the engagement of the Bible itself" in English literature (5).

Cambridge Companion to Milton
An important critical companion for Milton studies.

Cambridge Companion to Puritanism
A multi-disciplinary appoach to Puritanism.

Cambridge Companion to Writing of the English Revolution
Essays examining various responses to the English Revolution.

Companion to Milton (Oxford)
This important critical companion to Milton is published by Oxford University Press.


Milton Quarterly (1987 - Current)
Milton Quarterly publishes articles about Milton's life, times, and writing. These articles take a variety of forms, as, for instance, notes and queries, in-depth research articles, and review essays. Produced by the Milton Society of America, MQ also provides students and scholars with news on recent conferences, summaries of new research, and reviews of books on Milton.
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Milton Studies (1969 - Current)
A prestigious annual publication, Milton Studies publishes approximately ten substantive articles a year. These studies draw on the full range of critical approaches, as, for instance, examinations of the sources of Milton's writing, interpretation, and biographical/historical studies. Occasionally, MS will focus an entire issue on a theme, such as "Milton and Historicism." There are no book reviews or indexes in MS. However, the MLA International Bibliography indexes MS and is helpful in pinpointing specific articles on a topic.

Literary Biography

These volumes of Dictionary of Literary Biography provide authoritative discussions of Milton as a writer of prose, rhetoric, and poetry. Grouping Milton with essays on other writers working in a similar vein provides a larger historical picture of the era. DLB is written to be both scholarly and accessible. Liberal quotations provide a flavor for the author's style.

British Prose Writers of the Early Seventeenth Century
This volume discusses the issues and authors that propelled this important period in the development of modern prose. Authoritative texts and core secondary studies are identified in the illustrated essays.

British Rhetoricians and Logicians, 1500-1660. Second Series.
Essays about the authors "who influenced and shaped the rhetorical culture that produced great works of literature" (xvii).

Seventeenth-Century British Nondramatic Poets. Third Series.
The poets in this volume are discussed in light of the "crisis of cultural revolution" that their generation addressed (xi). Authoritative texts and core secondary sources are identified.

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