Immortality and the Body in the Age of Milton

Immortality and the Body in the Age of Milton

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Cambridge University Press, 3/1/2018
EAN 9781108422338, ISBN10: 1108422330

Hardcover, 254 pages, 23.6 x 15.7 x 2.1 cm
Language: English
Originally published in English

Seventeenth-century England teemed with speculation on body and its relation to soul. Descartes' dualist certainty was countered by materialisms, whether mechanist or vitalist. The most important and distinctive literary reflection of this ferment is John Milton's vitalist or animist materialism, which underwrites the cosmic worlds of Paradise Lost. In a time of philosophical upheaval and innovation, Milton and an unusual collection of fascinating and diverse contemporary writers, including John Donne, Margaret Cavendish, John Bunyan, and Hester Pulter, addressed the potency of the body, now viewed not as a drag on the immaterial soul or a site of embarrassment but as an occasion for heroic striving and a vehicle of transcendence. This collection addresses embodiment in relation to the immortal longings of early modern writers, variously abetted by the new science, print culture, and the Copernican upheaval of the heavens.

Part I. 1. The enfolded sublime of incarnate immortality Gardner Campbell
2. Milton's 'Lycidas', or Edward King's two bodies James Nohrnberg
Part II. 3. Narcissus in the boudoir
Aretino's Petrarchan postures Gordon Braden
4. Carnality into creativity
sublimation in John Bunyan's 'Apology' to The Pilgrim's Progress Vera Camden
5. Milton's beautiful body Gregory Chaplin
6. The fortunate, unfortunate fall and two varieties of immortality in Paradise Lost Stephen M. Fallon
Part III. 7. The miracle in Francis Bacon's natural philosophy Gregory Foran
8. Flesh made word
pneumatology and Miltonic textuality John Rumrich
9. Milton beyond iconoclasm David A. Harper
Part IV. 10. Hester Pulter's brave new worlds Louisa Hall
11. Death-weddings or living books
Cavendish rewriting Donne Dustin Stewart
12. Paradise Lost and the creation of Mormon theology John Rogers.