Scholarly criticism of John Milton's writings has in recent decades been distinguished by a methodological prudence that separates it from other forms of literary scholarship. One critic, however, stands apart from his colleagues and has consistently offered a corrective to this prudence: Balachandra Rajan. In Milton and the Climates of Reading, Elizabeth Sauer undertakes the daunting work of bringing together a selection of Rajan's essays on Milton, some hitherto unpublished, in order to chart trends and changes in Milton scholarship over the last sixty years and to consider future directions in this vital field of inquiry.
This collection, which is framed by Sauer's insightful introduction and an eloquent afterword by Joseph Wittreich, demonstrates Rajan's critical range and his ability to adapt to 'new' ideas, always reformulating them in his own characteristic and individual manner. Milton and the Climates of Reading offers timely statements about the ways in which Milton's writings not only addressed their own time, but also speak profoundly and powerfully to ours.