Marie Powell married the famous poet John Milton in order to escape a debt. This novel is historical author and poet Robert Graves’ fictionalization of a real, troubled marriage, told from the point of view of Marie herself, a witty and sensual woman who is ill matched to the cruel and domineering Milton.
The famous poet John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, had a wife, and their story is both strange and tumultuous. Consummate historical novelist and poet Robert Graves tells the story from the perspective of the wife, Marie Powell, a young woman who married the poet to escape a debt.
From the start, the couple proves mismatched; Milton is a domineering and insensitive husband set on punishing Marie for not providing the promised dowry. John Milton and his young wife are both religiously and temperamentally incompatible, and this portrait of their relationship is spellbinding, if not distinctly unflattering to Milton. It also provides fascinating accounts of the political upheavals of the time, including the execution of Charles I. This book is an excellent read for fans of historical fiction.
ROBERT GRAVES (1895–1985) was a preeminent English poet, novelist, critic, translator, and scholar of classical mythology. He served in World War I—an experience recounted in his 1929 autobiography, Good-bye to All That—and later became the first professor of English literature at the University of Cairo. Best remembered today for his acclaimed historical novels about the Roman emperor Claudius, I, Claudius and Claudius the God, his other books include The White Goddess, The Hebrew Myths, and Collected Poems.ALAN HODGE (1915–1979) was a historian and editor. In addition to The Reader Over Your Shoulder, he collaborated with Graves on Work in Hand, a poetry collection, and The Long Week-End, a social history of Britain during the First and Second World Wars.PATRICIA T. O’CONNER, a former staff editor at the New York Times Book Review, is the author of five books on language, most recently Origins of the Specious, written with her husband, Stewart Kellerman. Her first book, Woe Is I, has half a million copies in print and will soon appear in a fourth edition. She and Mr. Kellerman blog about the English language at www.grammarphobia.com.
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