Rotten Reviews: Paradise Lost by John Milton

“…do you not know that there is not perhaps one page in Milton’s Paradise Lost in which he has not borrowed his imagry [sic] from the scriptures? I allow and rejoice that Christ only appealed to the understanding and affections; but I affirm that after reading Isaiah, of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Homer and Virgil are disgustingly tame to me and Milton himself barely tolerable.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Letters 1796

“I could never read ten lines together without stumbling over some Pedantry that tipped me at once out of Paradise, or even Hell, into the schoolroom, worse than either.”

Edward Fitzgerald, Letters, 1876

Excerpted from: Bernard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.

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