Born in London into a prosperous family, Milton
was educated at home by Thomas Young, a Scottish
Presbyterian who presented Milton with a Hebrew Bible and
used to trade Latin and Greek verses with him. Milton was a
good pupil, studying very had.
Charles went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he began
to write poetry in Latin, Italian, and English.
graduating cum laude at Cambridge, Milton went back to his
family home where he spent six years writing L'ALLEGRO, IL
PENSEROSO (1632), COMUS (1634), and LYCIDAS
In 1632 Milton's "On Shakespeare" is published in the
Second Folio of Shakespeare's works.
-1639 , Milton (like Chaucer, Goethe,
Dickens, Shelley , D.H. Lawrence) travels to
"continental" Europe, visiting France and staying for a
while in Florence, Siena, Rome, Naples, Milan and
In Florence, he visits
Galileo, confined by the Inquisition. Galileo's telescope is
mentioned in Paradise Lost
In 1642, The Civil
War begins in England. Milton marries Mary Powell "for one
month", the bride having soon fled back to her Royalist
parents. The next year, Milton publishes Doctrine and
Discipline of Divorce. Mary would return 3 years later..
While his own brother was a Royalist too,
Milton wrote influential tracts attacking the monarchy and
supporting the regime of Cromwell.
after the execution of King Charles I, Milton is appointed
Secretary for the Foreign Tongues by the Council of
In his quality of Secretary, Milton
published an important number of publications, some being
vindications of the Commonwealth, others being answers to
attacks against this regime.
Milton, who became totally blind in 1652, after the
restoration of King Charles II in 1660, he was only briefly
imprisoned for his passionate involvement in the
EIKONKLASTES and the first
DEFENSIO were publicly burned.
Milton had died in 1652 after the birth of her fourth
None the less, Milton married Katherine
Woodcock in 1656.
Katherine delivered a daughter who
died six months after her birth. Katherine Woodcock herself
died the next year.