Sing O Muse: Paradise Lost Readalong 2014!

Yes, this is just a sample of my Milton collection.

Yes, this is just a sample of my Milton collection.

January 1 will mark this blog’s one-year birthday, and what better way to celebrate than with an epic (literally) readalong? I’m hosting a Paradise Lost readalong from January 1 to March 1, and I hope you’ll come along to brighten up the winter doldrums. I’ll be tweeting with the tag #ReadPL if you want to follow along.

Here’s the breakdown:

January 1: Introductory post

January 10: Books I & II reaction

January 20: Books III and IV reaction

January 30: Books V and VI reaction

February 10: Books VII and VIII reaction

February 20: Books IX and X

March 1: Books XI and XII; Wrap-up

Let me know in the comments if you’re interested, and I’ll link up to the participating blogs. Cheerio!

23 thoughts on “Sing O Muse: Paradise Lost Readalong 2014!


    Been dying to start this. Best read-along book ever. Definitely in my Top 5 books of all time. Ahhh! I’m so pumped. Happy to see you shortened the schedule. Less grueling, waiting for the updates.

    So yeah. Totally in.

    (Also, the third book in that photo is one of my copies of Paradise Lost as well (I only have two; shame). Although .. I feel like I’m going to try to find a cool new version to read out of this time. Because why not.

    • Sorry — tried email commenting and accidentally posted from the family blog.

      I agree with Rick — it’s language to savor and appreciate, but knowing the story helps quite a bit. I’ll also do preview blurbs at the end of each post so you can have an idea of what to look for.

      I can do a mini-post about editions, too; the better ones have glossaries for terms that would be unfamiliar to twenty-first century readers. It’s also not terribly long, page-wise, even though you could spend years unpacking it. Lots of interesting gender, political, and theological issues to tussle with.

      Anyway, you’re reading Middlemarch! I’d think that was much more intimidating. 🙂

  2. I think it’s definitely accessible. It’s probably something you’ll want to read slowly, but in a really good way. It’s language you’ll want to pore over. Here’s a sample, one of the book’s most famous passages:

    Of Man’s First Disobedience, and the Fruit
    Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste
    Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
    With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
    Restore us, and regain the blissful
    Seat, Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top
    Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
    That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen
    Seed, In the Beginning how the Heav’ns and Earth
    Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill
    Delight thee more, and Siloa’s Brook that flow’d
    Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
    Invoke thy aid to my advent’rous Song,
    That with no middle flight intends to soar
    Above th’ Aonian Mount, while it pursues
    Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhyme.

    I also think that readers are helped by the fact that they understand the story even before they start reading. You’re not likely to be confused because you’ll be able to follow the action simply due to already knowing the context.

    At least that’s my two cents.

  3. I loved all the comments here. 😉

    As for your read-along, I think I’m intimidated too. I think I’ll stick with short poems for now but follow along in terms of reading your post updates.

  4. Pingback: Ye Olde Year in Review | Rosemary and Reading Glasses

  5. Oh no! Paradise Lost is at the top of my list but I’m so bogged down with reads for January. I have another 6 reading days to go on my vacation, so I’ll see if I can get caught up with my 2013 reads and ahead on some of my 2014, then I’ll see. I would love to participate!

  6. Since this book completely intimidates me, I’m joining the read-a-long. I struggled with poetry last year and need all the help I can get!

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