The Complete Works of John Milton: Volume III: The Shorter Poems (816pp.)

Barbara Kiefer Lewalski (Editor), Estelle Haan (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportScholarly edition


Volume III of the new eleven-volume edition of Milton's Complete Works provides a definitive scholarly edition of all of Milton's shorter poems in English, Latin, Italian, and Greek, as well as his Mask, taken from both published and manuscript sources. It includes his 1645 Poems complete with all prefatory materials, thus illuminating the ways in which author, publisher, and print shop shaped this volume. It then presents all the new poems added in the 1673 edition (with the new Table of Contents), as well as the poems omitted from both editions. A careful collation of textual variants among these sources as well as the 1637 anonymous publication of Milton's Mask is provided. The Bridgewater manuscript of Milton's Mask (probably close to the acting version) and his working copy from the Trinity Manuscript, with its many alterations and additions, are transcribed in their entirety, so that the various versions may be compared and studied. 

A special feature of this edition is a new translation of Milton's many Latin and Greek poems that is both accurate and attentive to their literary qualities. This is augmented by a detailed and comprehensive commentary that highlights classical, vernacular, and neo-Latin parallels. A poetic translation of Milton's six Italian sonnets and Canzone is also supplied. In addition, the Appendices contain all the versions of Milton's shorter poems in all the contemporary manuscript and printed sources, so they may be examined in relation to their specific contexts. The transcription of all the versions of Milton's poems in the Trinity Manuscript allows in several cases, notably 'Lycidas' and 'At a Solemn Music,' for examination of the evolution of these poems as Milton weighed choiced of diction and sound qualities, enabling further understanding of his poetic practices. 

Barbara Lewalski is responsible for text, textual apparatus, and commentary pertaining to the vernacular poems in all sections of this edition including the appendices, and manuscript transcriptions (with the exception of A Maske), as well as the Occasions, Vernacular Poems,and Textual Introductions. Estelle Haan is responsible for text, textual apparatus, and commentary for the Poemata in all sections of this edition,and for the Poemata Introduction. She has also provided all translations from Latin, Italian, and Greek in the Testimonia, Poemata, and associated commentary, and transcriptions of the BL Damon, the Bodleian AdJoannem Rousium, and A Maske from the Trinity and Bridgewater manuscripts. Andrew McNeillie has provided poetic translations for Milton’s Italian sonnets, and Jason Rosenblatt has provided some Hebrew text and commentary pertaining to Milton’s Psalm translations.John Cunningham has transcribed Henry Lawes’ music for Milton’s masque, with commentary (Appendix E). Biblical references are taken from the King James (Authorized) Version.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages816
ISBN (Print)9780199609017
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2012

Bibliographical note

Re-issued in 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'The Complete Works of John Milton: Volume III: The Shorter Poems (816pp.)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this