Karen Edwards offers a fresh view of Paradise Lost, in which Milton is shown to represent Eden's plants and animals in the light of the century's new, scientific natural history. Debunking the fabulous lore of the old science, the poem embraces new imaginative and symbolic possibilities for depicting the natural world, suggested by the speculations of Milton's scientific contemporaries including Robert Boyle, Thomas Browne and John Evelyn. The natural world in Paradise Lost, with its flowers and trees, insects and beasts, emerges as a text alive with meaning.
'Full of quirky detail and careful research ... one does not have to agree with every reading to appreciate the importance of intelligent questioning to the future of Milton studies, and it is high praise to say that Edwards succeeds in giving us a fresh appreciation of Paradise Lost.' Margaret Kean, Times Literary Supplement