Milton Man and Thinker

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Valmy Publishing, Dec 12, 2018 - History - 295 pages
The present volume, written by Anglo-French author Denis Saurat, will appeal to anyone “who wishes to know how the classics may be kept alive. It stands as one of the chief contributions thus far to the scholarship which over nearly a decade in Europe and America has been making a new person out of Milton.” (The Nation magazine)

This is the Second Edition, originally published in 1944, which includes a section that “brings new light on the history of Milton’s ideas by a closer study of his English contemporaries, Robert Fludd and the Mortalists.”

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About the author (2018)

Denis Saurat (1890-1958) was an Anglo-French scholar, writer, and broadcaster on a wide range of topics, including explaining French society and culture to the English and what he called “philosophical poetry.” He was born on March 21, 1890 in Toulouse, France. After receiving a doctorate of the University of Bordeaux, and a lauréat des concours d’agrégation in 1919, he became associated with the Department of French at King’s College London from 1920, where he was a professor from 1926. He was also director for many years of the French Institute of London (Institut Français) in South Kensington. Saurat’s views on the connection in the early modern period between the poetry of Edmund Spenser and John Milton and the occult, represented in particular by the Kabbalah, were ahead of their time. Saurat also interpreted in light of Philosophical Poetry the Prophetic Books of William Blake and discussed Blake’s relationship to Milton and Celtic antiquarians. The term “Scottish Renaissance” was brought into critical prominence by Saurat in his article “Le Groupe de la Renaissance Écossaise”, published in the Revue Anglo-Américaine in April 1924. During World War II, his position and desire to maintain the autonomy of the Institut led Saurat into a serious clash with Charles de Gaulle, as it concerned not only the politics of the Free French, but also Saurat’s resistance to the General’s technocratic ambitions for the Institut. Under official pressure to move to Bristol, Saurat came through with support from Vere Ponsonby, 9th Earl of Bessborough. However, he resigned from the Institut, retired from the University, and settled in Nice, France. In his last years, Saurat took an active interest in PEN International, composed poems in Occitan, his mother tongue, and wrote best-selling books of non-fiction on Atlantis and the early history of Earth. He passed away on June 7, 1958 in Nice, France.

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