Commentary on Milton's Contract 1667

Ronan Deazley, Martin Kretschmer (Editor), Lionel Bently (Editor)

Research output: Other contribution


The contract between the poet John Milton and the stationer Samuel Simmons, concerning the publication of Paradise Lost, is the earliest agreement between an author and a publisher for which there exists documentary evidence. The commentary suggests that, while the terms of the contract do not necessarily reveal anything substantive about how authors in the mid-seventeenth century understood the nature of the rights they had in their manuscript work, it is nevertheless significant. Since the early eighteenth century, Milton, his work, and his contract with Simmons, were all co-opted, in a variety of ways, to service contemporary debates about the status of the author, about author-publisher relations, and about the nature of the relationship between an author and his work within the context of the emerging copyright regime.
Original languageEnglish
TypeScholarly Contribution
Media of outputOnline
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Please cite as: Deazley, R. (2008) ‘Commentary on Milton's Contract 1667', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


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