Milton in the Long Restoration

This is an Archive of a Past Event

This two-day conference will bring together literary critics, historians, and musicologists to reconsider the coherence of the historical period from the execution of Charles I in 1649 to the Jacobite defeat in 1746, emphasizing the centrality of Milton throughout.

Milton in the Long Restoration will test the power of three propositions: (1) that the years from 1649 to 1746 form a distinct and coherent period that deserves to be defined as a Long Restoration; (2) that we cannot rightly interpret Milton’s late prose and poetry in isolation from authors–such as Denham, Davenant, and Dryden–who are more often yoked into historical narratives that exclude Milton; and (3) that although the Romantics may be true heirs of Milton, they are not his first true heirs: we ignore the record of Milton’s early reception and appropriation at our peril, for these early readers of Milton have left a remarkably rich record of imaginative response, puzzlement, and contestation.

The conference will feature a public performance of Milton’s Comus (as performed at the Theatres Royal in Drury Lane and Covent-Garden)—at 12:30 pm on Saturday, April 26, in Toyon Hall at 455 Arguello Way.