Widgets December 9 ~  Reign in Hell Complete Poetry of Milton

"Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven." ~ John Milton

john milton Born on this day in London, English writer John Milton (1608-1674) had radical political and religious views and rejected his family's plans on becoming a minister. He turned to writing as a way to reform the Church of England.

"A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit," he said, "embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life."

Milton wrote revolutionary pamphlets to support the morality of divorce due to incompatibility and met with Galileo in Italy. Milton fought hard for freedom of the press and rebelled against Parliament censorship.

"Reason is also choice," he said.

Influenced by Latin and Greek literature, he took 26 years to work the theme of reason and choice into the finished masterpiece, Paradise Lost (1667), the Biblical story of Satan's rebellion against God and Adam and Eve's fall from grace.

The dense verse of Milton's epic celebrated the absolute freedom of the individual and the invincibility of the mind and spirit.

"The mind is its own place, and it itself can make heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven."

John MiltonThe mind glows with heavenly grace.