This life of John Milton was first published in the English Men of Letters series in 1879. Its author, Mark Pattison (1813-84) spent most of his adult life in Oxford, as a student, a tutor, and eventually, from 1861, Rector of Lincoln College. Pattison’s scholarly interest in religious thought in England, and in the history of classical learning after the Renaissance, made him the ideal biographer for the poet whose writing life was spent in justifying God’s ways to man, and whose knowledge of Greek and Latin literature was almost unmatched. Pattison sees the life as divided into three periods: he provides a narrative of events and an analysis of Milton’s literary output (both verse and prose) for each. The final chapter is a discussion of the major poems: Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes, concluding with the assertion of Milton’s supremacy over all English writers except Shakespeare.