These two special issues of Milton Studies set out to show why John Milton matters by telling two interrelated stories. Even as the field of literary studies continues to expand and rightly embraces more diverse and more recent writers, why does Milton have a biannual journal devoted to his life and works, as well as a separate quarterly publication, a biennial conference, an annually convening society, and a triennial international symposium? The essays collected in these two issues of Milton Studies address these questions directly and indirectly, and chart some of the ways that Milton's writings continue to resonate in our current times.

The first story that these essays tell concerns Milton's awesome accomplishment in verse. Why do we still read Milton today? Because of his poetry's soaring beauty and extraordinary subtlety. His poems both move and challenge, inform and inspire. Several of the writers of these essays recall the...

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